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Ken Borland



Tsolekile not selected for cricketing reasons, not Smith racism 0

Posted on May 23, 2022 by Ken

The independent arbitration panel that cleared Graeme Smith of racism allegations found that Thami Tsolekile was not selected to replace Mark Boucher in 2012 for cricketing reasons, saying the wicketkeeper/batsman himself accepted that AB de Villiers being chosen ahead of him was better for the team.

Tsolekile testified at the arbitration in support of Cricket South Africa’s claim that Smith had used his influence as captain to persuade the selectors not to include Tsolekile based on his race, after Boucher suffered the eye injury that ended his career.

But while finding that Smith, the Proteas longest-serving and most successful Test captain, did have an influence on selection, the arbitrators, advocates Ngwako Maenetje SC and Michael Bishop, ruled that he did not actively seek to exclude Tsolekile because of his race. Instead they found “it is more likely that Smith just wanted his team to win”.

Andrew Hudson, the convenor of selectors at the time and current CSA Board member, and Linda Zondi, who was also a selector before succeeding Hudson as the convenor, gave evidence that De Villiers had been selected for the tour to England in 2012 as the reserve wicketkeeper and both the selectors and coach Gary Kirsten agreed that De Villiers replacing Boucher behind the stumps would allow them to play an extra specialist batsman in JP Duminy, himself Black.

Smith was consulted about the decision and agreed with the strategy.

In Paragraph 90 of their findings, the arbitrators state: “Tsolekile … agreed with the proposition that this was ‘a strategy that will make complete sense and was something which played very strongly in favour of the Proteas cricket team’. He accepted that there were ‘very good cricketing reasons to prefer AB de Villiers to yourself for the position in the Test starting XI’.”

CSA then tried to change their argument and alleged Smith was guilty of discrimination by omission because he had an obligation to speak out on behalf of Tsolekile because the wicketkeeper/batsman was previously disadvantaged.

But the arbitrators found this change of tack was prejudicial to Smith, describing it as “a trap sprung on him” and they also criticised CSA for making submissions that were inconsistent with the facts.

The arbitrators did have sympathy for Tsolekile, describing his non-selection as “unfair” and his subsequent involvement in a matchfixing scandal as only “exacerbating the tragedy” of his story of adversity.

Smith shows maturity of a proper cricketing adult 0

Posted on November 29, 2021 by Ken

27-year-old Jason Smith is a proper adult in cricketing terms, and his maturity was on full display on Wednesday as he steered the KZN Dolphins to victory in their CSA Provincial T20 Knockout quarterfinal against the Eastern Province Warriors in Kimberley.

KZN were chasing a mediocre total of 128, but paceman Glenton Stuurman (4-0-18-2) imposed himself with the new ball as they crashed to 33-4 after seven overs.

But Smith then came to the wicket and, striking the ball cleanly for three fours and three sixes, but also working the gaps really cleverly, struck 60 not out (41) to ensure a win for KZN by six wickets with four balls left.

Keegan Petersen weathered the early storm, batting through to score 38*.

EP in the end did well to post 127-9 after they had chosen to bat first and slumped to 8-3 in the first three overs as Daryn Dupavillon produced a fiery display of fast bowling, ending with explosive figures of 4- 18.

He wasn’t threatening to send anyone to hospital, but he targeted the stumps superbly, dismissing both openers, Lubbe (lbw) and Breetzke (bowled) for first-ball ducks and then having Smuts caught behind off an inside edge.

The Warriors were rescued by Diego Rosier’s composed 51 off 41 balls and a patient 28 by Sinethemba Qeshile.

Young Duan Jansen was the star of the show as the North-West Dragons snatched victory by three runs over the Boland Rocks in their quarterfinal.

Excellent bowling by Boland, especially spinners Manack and Mahima, reduced North-West to 104 for five in the 14th over with the dismissal of opener Eben Botha for 41 (34).

Lesego Senokwane (40 off 31) was then run out brilliantly by wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin, but Jansen lifted the Dragons to 156-8 with some hearty blows, slamming 27 off 21 balls.

Brothers Janneman (74* off 56) and Pieter Malan (46 off 38) had Boland well on track though with their opening stand of 108 in 12.5 overs.

But impressive 18-year-old spinner Caleb Seleka (4-0-25-2) removed Proteas Pieter Malan and Christiaan Jonker in successive overs and Jansen dismissed the dangerous Fortuin.

Nevertheless Jansen only had nine runs to defend in the final over. But Adams (21 off 13) stupidly ran himself out, wicketkeeper Nicky van den Bergh doing great work, and Janneman Malan failed to make contact with a couple of shots and in the end Jansen (4-0-19-2) conceded just five runs off the last over.

The greedy & selfish of cricket are starting to box each other 0

Posted on October 26, 2021 by Ken

There is no honour amongst thieves, so the saying goes, and it seems there is also no end to the greed and selfishness that characterises international cricket. Little wonder then that even The Big Three are starting to box each other, never mind their deplorable treatment of the rest of the cricketing world.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the associated quarantine protocols have given teams an easy excuse not to fulfill their commitments. England’s disgraceful exit from their tour of South Africa last summer was the first sign that The Big Three would not be beholden to anyone, not even the International Cricket Council, when it came to their board or players doing whatever they wanted.

Australia also refused to come to South Africa when the science actually showed their reasons were totally flawed, and India recently did the dirty on England by pulling out of the last Test of their series on the morning of the game due to a couple of positive Covid tests in their tour party.

Never mind that the Indians were probably to blame because they had been out of the bubble attending coach Ravi Shastri’s book launch and what not.

Poor old Pakistan have the added disadvantage of always having the ‘security risk’ tag hanging over their heads and both New Zealand and England have unilaterally pulled out of tours there. They say it’s because of security threats but they have never informed their hosts exactly what those threats were, and it is telling that Britain’s own High Commission in Islamabad supported their tour going ahead.

And let’s not forget that Pakistan toured England last year, staying in crappy hotel bubbles, at the height of Covid when their hosts were desperate for cricket.

Now even the Ashes are at risk because the English players don’t want strict quarantine rules to apply to them and their families in Australia.

It has all just led to a great diminishing of the image of international cricket. The pre-eminence of country-versus-country contests no longer seems to be in place and the ICC, the very custodians of international cricket, don’t seem overly invested in protecting their turf.

Of course, the Indian Premier League towers over all other cricket like the Drakensberg peaks tower over the surrounding midlands. No player ever pulls out of that tournament and every single recent change to the international schedule has benefited the IPL. If the Indian players had played that last Test against England, some of them would have missed the first game of the resumed tournament in the UAE due to quarantine arrangements. And many of the same players who were terrified of Covid in South Africa quite happily went to India when the pandemic was killing thousands of people every day.

The ICC should be like an Alsatian in being the guardians of international cricket, instead they are a lap dog for The Big Three. The consequences of this will be T20 tournaments continuing to ransack the calendar space and the players that should be available to international competition.

If all this double-crossing and use-and-abuse treatment of the poorer nations is allowed to continue, I can see franchise cricket overwhelming the international game. The ICC will limp along as a toothless body holding world cups every few years.

Lovers of T20 will be delighted as that format will dominate the calendar even more, but traditional cricket fans, especially lovers of the Test game, will be left angry and disinterested.

At the moment, those with the power in cricket all seem to just want to chow down at the banquet table without any consideration for those who produce or serve the feast. It is this greed and selfishness that is destroying the game.

Unless there is a sea-change in mindset and cricket gets some non-selfserving leadership in place, it will be a case of bad luck to the poorer nations as the rich get richer and the rest simply fade away.

Smith plays ‘adult’ innings & 21-year-old Jansen steals the show with hearty blows & great final over 0

Posted on October 20, 2021 by Ken

Jason Smith is 27 years old now so a proper adult in cricketing terms, and his maturity was on full display on Wednesday as he steered the KZN Dolphins to victory in their CSA Provincial T20 Knockout quarterfinal against the Eastern Province Warriors in Kimberley.

KZN were chasing a mediocre total of 128, but paceman Glenton Stuurman (4-0-18-2) imposed himself with the new ball as the Dolphins crashed to 33 for four after seven overs.

But Smith then came to the wicket and, striking the ball cleanly for three fours and three sixes, but also working the gaps really cleverly, he struck 60 not out off 41 balls to ensure a win for the Dolphins by six wickets with four balls to spare.

Opening batsman Keegan Petersen weathered the early storm, batting through to score 38 not out.

Eastern Province in the end did well to post 127 for nine after they had chosen to bat first and slumped to 8 for three in the first three overs as Daryn Dupavillon produced a fiery display of fast bowling.

He bowled a fullish length so he wasn’t threatening to send anyone to hospital, but he targeted the stumps superbly, dismissing both openers, Wihan Lubbe (lbw) and Matthew Breetzke (bowled) for first-ball ducks and then having Jon-Jon Smuts caught behind off an inside edge.

The Warriors were rescued by Diego Rosier’s composed 51 off 41 balls and a patient 28 by Sinethemba Qeshile.

Dupavillon ended with explosive figures of four for 18, but fellow pacemen Ottneil Baartman (4-0-21-1), Thando Ntini (4-0-25-2) and Ruan de Swardt (4-0-17-1) also did a fine job.

Young Duan Jansen was the star of the show as the North-West Dragons snatched victory by three runs over the Boland Rocks in the last quarterfinal.

Excellent bowling by Boland, especially their spinners Imraan Manack (4-0-23-1) and Siyabonga Mahima (4-0-24-1), reduced North-West to 104 for five in the 14th over with the dismissal of opener Eben Botha for 41 off 34 balls.

Lesego Senokwane (40 off 31) was then run out brilliantly by wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin two overs later, but Jansen lifted the Dragons to 156-8 with some hearty blows, slamming 27 off 21 balls.

But brothers Janneman (74* off 56) and Pieter Malan (46 off 38) had Boland well on track for victory with their opening stand of 108 in 12.5 overs.

But impressive 18-year-old spinner Caleb Seleka (4-0-25-2) removed Proteas Pieter Malan and Christiaan Jonker in successive overs and Jansen dismissed the dangerous Clyde Fortuin in between.

Nevertheless Jansen only had nine runs to defend in the final over. But Ferisco Adams (21 off 13) stupidly ran himself out, wicketkeeper Nicky van den Bergh doing great work, and the left-arm quick dismissed big-hitting Hardus Viljoen.

Janneman Malan failed to make contact with a couple of shots and in the end Jansen (4-0-19-2) conceded just five runs off the last over.

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  • Thought of the Day

    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.



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