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Ken Borland

Excellent build-up for SA20 league kicking off next week 0

Posted on October 31, 2023 by Ken

The excellent build-up for the new SA20 tournament continued this week with the news that Sky Sports in the UK have signed a five-year deal to also show the tournament, expanding the global reach of the new T20 league and also bringing in some much-needed hard currency.

With the tournament kicking off in Cape Town next Tuesday evening in Cape Town, everything would seem to be in place for the SA20 to explode into the consciousness of cricket fans.

While co-owners SuperSport will obviously have the African broadcast rights for the league, the all-important Indian market was sown up by the 10-year deal signed with Viacom 18, the dynamic new entertainment network that is growing rapidly on the subcontinent. They are believed to be paying at least $240 000 per game, so this year’s 33 matches will bring in nearly $8 million (R135 million).

Contracts are also being finalised to ensure the tournament is broadcast in other major cricket markets like Australia/New Zealand and the Caribbean.

There is a title sponsor in BetWay, who have signed a “multi-year” deal, and CSA are intimating that the league will make a profit in its first year, having earlier predicted a five-year wait before the SA20 would be in the black.

One does still wonder, however, about a few finer details.

Is a run of five successive fixtures between February 3-7 on the Highveld – with matches at both the Wanderers and SuperSport Park on February 4 – going to enjoy good crowds? The semi-finals follow from February 8 and there is a good chance either the Joburg Super Kings or Pretoria Capitals will be involved in those too.

And is the tournament loadshedding-proof and, if so, are those emergency back-up measures not going to significantly decrease profits?

But here’s hoping for some magnificent action to take our minds off all the troubles currently surrounding South African cricket, never mind the country as a whole.

Having looked into my crystal ball, I would, if forced to, put money on a MI Cape Town versus Paarl Royals final.

MI Cape Town, in particular, have a marvellous attack – Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada and Rashid Khan could bowl 16 of their 20 overs, which leaves opposition batsmen with plenty of thinking to do when it comes to taking them on.

Gauteng may be the financial capital but Durban is becoming the rugby capital 0

Posted on March 28, 2022 by Ken

Gauteng may be the financial capital of South Africa but Durban is rapidly becoming the rugby capital as the Sharks confirmed the mega-signing of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth on Thursday, on a long-term deal that will keep him at Kings Park from July until 2027.

Thanks to the cash cow that is their equity partners, Etzebeth will move from being one of the highest-paid players in France while he was with Toulon, to one of the highest earning players in South Africa, as befits a veteran of 97 Tests and a perennial contender for any World XV. Although the Sharks cannot come close to matching the reported R20 million a year Toulon were paying him, Durban offers other perks in terms of lifestyle and networking with the range of leading businesspeople who have invested in the franchise.

A happy Etzebeth will mean the Sharks’ tight five will be getting a considerable boost.

“I’m looking forward to coming to the Sharks and living in Durban, and I expect this to be a wonderful chapter in my career,” Etzebeth said in a statement released by the Sharks on Thursday.
“Family and being closer to home was a big motivating factor, as well as being able to represent a great team like the Sharks. I can see things are happening there.

“Siya Kolisi is there and we’ve been friends since were in the provincial U19s together and now we will get to play for the Sharks together.

“Along with my Springbok team-mates Bongi Mbonambi, Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am, Thomas du Toit, all guys I know well. I’m also really excited to meet a few new guys,” Etzebeth said.

The 30-year-old admitted to being impressed with what the Sharks have managed to build so far.
“I’m looking forward to playing at the Shark Tank, the local derbies against the Bulls, Stormers and Lions will be awesome,” Etzebeth said. “I’m looking forward to being back in South Africa and playing in front of the Sharks fans there.”
“I chatted to Siya, I gave Thomas a call and chatted to them. Off the field things work, on the field we can see things are working and the team is doing well.

“I enjoyed watching the last game against the Bulls and the victory away from home, and this is a brand I definitely want to be associated with and which I’m proud to be joining,” Etzebeth said. “Attracting a player of Etzebeth’s calibre underlines the importance the Sharks place on building a winning squad, which is aligned to the vision of being the biggest franchise in world rugby,” said CEO Eduard Coetzee.
“We’re also focused on building a strong group of players for a number of years, not just the immediate future, and Eben’s long-term contract reflects this.”

Sharks hopeful that all their outside programmes will clinch that Etzebeth deal 0

Posted on March 24, 2022 by Ken

The Sharks are hoping that all their excellent programmes to assist their players with life outside rugby will clinch the deal with Eben Etzebeth, leading to the Springbok powerhouse lock joining them after the end of Toulon’s season in June.

The Sharks, thanks to their equity partners, offer enormous networking and advisory possibilities with an array of leading businesspeople and that could be of interest to Etzebeth, who has been one of the best-paid players in France and is now in the second half of his career.

Eduard Coetzee, the CEO of the Sharks, confirmed on Tuesday that the franchise are putting together an offer for arguably the best lock in the world, who was earning about R20 million a year at Toulon.

“We are speaking to Eben, he wants to come back and we will put our best foot forward,” Coetzee told The Citizen. “It’s about what we can offer him on and off the field.

“Eben will be turning 31 in October and we can give him a start for life after rugby. We can match him up with businesspeople who can help him – in the pharmaceutical world, clothing, property etc.

“Hopefully that can make up for the loss of income he will have coming back to South Africa. And with the endorsements and commercial opportunities he can get here, hopefully he can earn something that is not a long ways off what he gets there in France. So we feel there is definitely a chance that we will get him,” Coetzee said.

The salary cap (R65m) that SA Rugby have imposed on their franchises as they try to compete with the big-spending European clubs is a frustration, and the Sharks also have to ensure they do not anger the existing superstars in their squad by paying the likes of Etzebeth considerably more than they are earning.

“Of a probable current World XV, we have Siya Kolisi, Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am, and now you add Eben Etzebeth,” Coetzee said. “And you can’t pay one of them twice as much as the others.

“You need a level of consistency in terms of what you are paying the top guys. Fortunately we have some credit still in the salary cap and Eben has got himself out of his contract with Toulon.”

The CEO also cleared up any impression that Neil Powell being parachuted in as director of rugby when he had initially been signed as defence coach would be cause for any anger by head coach Sean Everitt.

“John McFarland left for a long-term deal and Warren Whiteley stepped in as defence coach until Neil arrives in September, and he is doing really well. We felt the gap was in terms of managing the entire rugby programme.

“It has been a consultative process and Sean has a very difficult job managing two teams out of one squad. But Neil runs systems really well and he is very strong on culture and work ethic.

“So Neil will run everything outside of the day-to-day coaching. This will cause the least disruption and his strength is people-management, we need someone to run the whole system from juniors up the pipeline,” Coetzee said.

AB struggled to come to terms with taking someone’s place – Boucher 0

Posted on May 27, 2021 by Ken

AB de Villiers has turned down the chance to play for South Africa again in this year’s T20 World Cup because of his struggle to deal with coming into the team at this late stage and taking the place of someone who has been with the Proteas for a while, according to national coach Mark Boucher.

With South Africa’s T20 side battling in recent times – they have won just five of their 19 matches in the last two years – speculation was rife that De Villiers, who is still imperious in the IPL, would come out of retirement to boost the Proteas’ World Cup challenge. Both Boucher and De Villiers have spoken recently about having talks in this regard.

But on Tuesday, Cricket South Africa announced the squads for next month’s tour of the West Indies and said “discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all that his retirement will remain final.”

Boucher told The Citizen on Tuesday that he was disappointed but the Proteas now had to simply move forward without one of the best batsmen in the world.

“AB has his reasons, which I respect. Unfortunately he’s no longer in the mix. I say unfortunately because I think we all agree that he’s still one of the best – if not the best – T20 players in world cricket. But he alluded to being concerned about coming in ahead of other players who have been a part of the system. I don’t think it sat well with him, which I understand.

“But as a coach I needed to try and get our best players, for the team and the environment. AB is an energy-booster in any environment, but I respect his reasoning. It was worth a go, but now let’s move forward,” Boucher said.

South Africa’s white-ball squad for the West Indies tour features the return of superstars Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Quinton de Kock, David Miller and Anrich Nortje from IPL duty, while Temba Bavuma is also back after missing the T20s against Pakistan due to injury and will become the first Black African to lead the Proteas T20 side.

The same squad will do duty for the T20s and ODIs in Ireland, with the addition of Maharaj, who has been a major figure in the Dolphins’ 50-over success.

Off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen and pace bowler Lizaad Williams have both been added to the Test squad that played in Pakistan, with Faf du Plessis having retired and seamers Lutho Sipamla, Daryn Dupavillon and Dwaine Pretorius all having been left out.

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    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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