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Ken Borland

Spidercam may be haute couture of TV coverage, but it nearly caused Nortje serious injury 0

Posted on August 14, 2023 by Ken

The spidercam – or the Flying Fox as it is called in Australia – is the haute couture of televised cricket coverage these days, but on Tuesday it nearly caused serious injury to South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Following a high-speed burst of fast bowling after lunch, Nortje was walking in the outfield between overs when the aerial camera, which glides along movable cables, came whizzing up from behind and hit him on his left shoulder and back, knocking him to the ground.

Fortunately South Africa’s most impressive bowler on a torrid second day was able to get up immediately, but he gestured his incredulity at the umpire who had seen the incident.

While it has become the fashion in rugby for the broadcast producers to use camera footage for the benefit of the home team, it would surely be taking things too far, (even for Australians!) to use an expensive, 315kg camera to barrel into players.

While Nortje did not seem too bothered by the incident after the day’s play, he did say players have sounded the warning before about how low the spidercams sometimes travel.

“We’ve spoken before about how low the camera goes for certain interviews. I really don’t think it should be travelling head-high. They need to take Marco Jansen [2.07m tall] into consideration as well,” Nortje said with a smile.

“It knocked my shoulder and elbow and the medical staff will just monitor it. I just saw cables I turned and moved my head, saw the camera and it all happened a little quick. I didn’t really know what had hit me.”

Broadcasters Fox Cricket have made no public mention of the harrowing incident, but a Proteas spokeswoman said they did apologise to the team.

“They put it down to human error and the cam was disabled for the rest of the day. They’ll ensure that measures are put in place for the remainder of the match and series to ensure that it doesn’t get as low as it did today,” Proteas media manager Lucy Davey told The Citizen.

Schaper goes three ahead, but Mazibuko building strong challenge 0

Posted on December 19, 2022 by Ken

BENONI, Gauteng – Jayden Schaper enjoyed a three-shot lead, but Makhetha Mazibuko was building a strong challenge, when dangerous weather caused the second round of the Fortress Invitational at Ebotse Links to be suspended on Saturday afternoon.

Schaper, who was in a three-way tie for the lead after a first-round 65, separated himself on Saturday with another fine round, a five-under-par 67 lifting him to 12-under for the tournament, going into Sunday’s final round.

Two birdies and a bogey on the front nine saw Schaper reach the turn just one-under, but he blossomed on the back nine with four birdies to pull away from the field.

“I had a steady start, I was hitting the ball well and I just left a couple of putts in the jaws of the hole. But I just stayed patient and it was pretty much another solid all-round game. It was more difficult today, the wind was up and that makes the course a lot tougher,” Schaper said.

But Mazibuko is on nine-under-par, tied in second place with Richard Joubert (69), and he still has six holes to play when the second round resumes at 7am on Sunday.

The 34-year-old from Bloemfontein Golf Club is three-under for his round, all three birdies coming on the front nine.

Schaper will be chasing his first Sunshine Tour title on Sunday, with the final round being played to a two-tee, three-ball format. The 21-year-old enjoyed a prolific amateur career and it will be remembered that he was touted as South African golf’s next big thing when he finished second in the 2020 Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

“I guess there will be some added pressure, but I’ll be saying to myself that there is no difference between a Sunshine Tour event or an amateur tournament. It’s the same as any round of golf.

“Playing at my home course at Ebotse will also keep me calm because I know the course well. I’m looking forward to it, I’m going to enjoy it and if it’s my day then I’ll take it,” Schaper said.

The other first-round leaders went backwards on the second day, with Ockie Strydom shooting a level-par 72 and staying on seven-under, which is now in a tie for fifth, while Clinton Grobler is four-over-par through 12 holes, having double-bogeyed his last two holes to be nine shots off the pace.

The passing of the Queen and the effect on sport 0

Posted on October 24, 2022 by Ken

The passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has not only caused great sorrow in the United Kingdom as they have lost the longest-serving monarch they ever had, but around the world where she was a much-loved figure, one of the constants of the 20th and 21st centuries and all the turmoil practically three generations lived through.

The charming sight of the Queen, always so immaculately turned out, meeting sporting teams is also now a thing of the past. I wonder if King Charles III will bring the same gravitas and elegance to the occasion …

While meeting government ministers who invariably end up delaying the scheduled starting time of whatever sporting event they are piggybacking on is not the sort of thing sports stars keep in the memory banks, and they largely annoy spectators, shaking hands with the Queen was always a memorable moment.

Part of that had to do with the fact that she was engaging, had a famously mischievous sense of humour and always had a sharp eye on proceedings. She and Prince Philip were avid cricket fans and she visited Lord’s on 25 occasions.

Jonty Rhodes scored a quickfire, sparkling century in the opening match of South Africa’s 1994 tour of England, against the Earl of Carnavon’s XI at Highclere, but his memories of that day revolve around meeting the Queen.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had spent a few hours watching the game from a marquee and Rhodes tended to stand out whenever he was in the field – a real livewire in terms of his dazzling fielding skills, but also constantly cajoling his team-mates with handclaps and shouts of encouragement.

During the lunch break, the teams were lined up and introduced to Her Majesty and she showed how keen an observer she had been as she stopped and asked Rhodes “Are you the one making all the noise?” with an amused glint in her eye.

“Yes Ma’m, I’ve got to keep the old guys moving,” Rhodes replied, drawing a smile and a nod from the Queen before she moved on down the line.

As one would probably expect, Australian cricket teams have had rather more uncouth interactions with Her Majesty, with Dennis Lillee asking for her autograph and Rodney Hogg commenting on her attractive legs. She later sent Lillee a signed photograph of the incident and he says the photo still has pride of place in his office, while Elizabeth II apparently had a warm friendship with the late Shane Warne, who also passed away this year.

She would also routinely hand out the silverware at the Wembley football stadium, most notably when England won their only soccer World Cup, in 1966.

Prince Harry, fresh from celebrating the birth of his second child, Lilibet, in June, is known for his love of rugby. The Springboks are perhaps his ‘second team’ and his celebrations after their 2019 World Cup win, including a conversation with scrumhalf Faf de Klerk who was wearing just his famous Springbok flag underpants, gave rise to many hilarious memes.

When one thinks of the Royal Family and sport, however, the obvious main connection is with horse racing. Queen Elizabeth II has been described as the sport’s “greatest supporter”. Her royal meeting at Ascot is one of the most famous equestrian events in the world and, as an owner of thoroughbreds, she enjoyed several big wins there.

Both Nicky Henderson and Sir Michael Stoute, who trained the Queen’s horses, mentioned her thorough knowledge of all things equestrian in their warm tributes.

Her daughter, Princess Anne, rode in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and her daughter, Zara Tindall, wife of former England rugby star Mike, won a silver medal with the Great Britain equestrian eventing team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Heavy defeat in 1st warm-up had many squirming, but Klaasen says Proteas have all in place after win 0

Posted on August 22, 2022 by Ken

Their opening warm-up match against the England Lions caused many to squirm after the heavy defeat they suffered, but Thursday night’s comprehensive win over the same team had batting hero Heinrich Klaasen saying the Proteas have everything in place for their ODI series against world champions England that starts on Tuesday.

The Lions – England’s version of their A side – chased down 319 in just 37.1 overs in the first match, but South Africa rebounded to beat them by 107 runs in Worcester. The Proteas again batted first and posted a formidable 360/7, but this time they only used their five frontline bowlers and bowled their opponents out for 253.

In the first match, South Africa gave eight bowlers a run and they all just bowled a handful of overs because preparation was more important than the result. But Thursday night’s clash was very much a dress rehearsal for the first ODI and was played under 11-a-side rules.

The batsmen, led by Klaasen with scores of 51 off 35 and 123 off 85, look in good shape and the likely bowling attack did well on Thursday night as well.

“We’ll take a lot of confidence from that,” Klaasen said. “They’ve given us two very good pitches to bat on, so the batsmen are smiling with a lot of confidence, and the bowling was a lot better too.

“We took the game to them and it paid off. We’ll now have a day off and then a couple of training sessions and then we’ll be good to go.

“The bowlers were able to get more of a feel of the game and the way the England Lions played was very aggressive. It was a good outing for the bowlers because the Lions played the same brand that England will use, so we know what to expect and how to adapt,” Klaasen said.

The 30-year-old Klaasen, batting at No.7 in the first game and at No.5 for his fiery century, has brought a fantastic attacking edge to the Proteas line-up. It is a continuation of the fine form he showed on the T20 tour of India, his first appearances for South Africa since October 2021.

“Hopefully I can keep riding the wave, I’m quite happy with where I am at the moment and the way I am striking the ball,” Klaasen said. “It’s about staying in the game and taking every ball as it comes.

“I’m hitting the ball nicely and I’m in a good mental space. Andile Phehlukwayo [67 off 53] joined me at an awkward stage [167/5 in 30 overs] and I was very pleased with the way we went about our partnership.

“It’s good to have Andi in form and hitting the ball so nicely. He took the pressure off me, he said I must just get to my hundred and he’ll take care of the rest,” Klaasen said.

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    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

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