for quality writing

Ken Borland

All Blacks ‘disappointed and hurt’, focused on being more clinical and efficient – Cane 0

Posted on September 19, 2022 by Ken

All Blacks captain Sam Cane on Tuesday described their squad as being “disappointed and hurt” by their comprehensive defeat in their opening Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks in Nelspruit last weekend, and he says this week has been all about ensuring they are more clinical and efficient.

While the Springboks are buoyant after their 26-10 win, their second biggest ever over their greatest rivals, the All Blacks go to Ellis Park on Saturday having lost three matches in a row this year including the previous two defeats to Ireland.

“As disappointed and hurt as we are, there is nowhere else we would want to be than having another crack at them,” Cane said after New Zealand’s training session in Inanda on Tuesday.

“We are far happier getting back on the horse that sitting on the plane back home not having won a Test. Yesterday [Monday] we had a good look at the opportunities we wasted and where we need to be sharper.

“We have been brutally honest with each other, it’s nothing personal but just trying to get better as a team as a whole. We’re obviously not happy with the results, but there’s been no lack of effort.

“It’s a good camp to be involved in, hand on heart we are tight as a group, but it’s just frustrating that that’s not translating on to the field. There’s a trophy [Freedom Cup] on the line at Ellis Park and we are desperate for a better performance,” Cane said.

While the loose forward praised the Springboks for “knowing their game and executing extremely well”, he said the All Blacks had focused in their training on not just key weak points in Nelspruit like the aerial battle and the breakdown, but also on the unexpected.

“There were 15 contestable kicks last weekend and we only took five of them, so we expect the Springboks to keep going with that, and they also had good success at the breakdown,” Cane said.

“But it would be naïve not to think they will try to exploit us in different areas too. So our focus has been more on what we can control.

“I thought we had good intensity last week, but their pressure in key moments flipped our momentum. In the first half we were hardly able to have a crack at them.

“Our defensive intensity was right up there, we defended the breakdowns really well. So I don’t think we’re far off and there were definitely steps in the right direction,” Cane said.

Members Council show hope of being beacons of good governance 0

Posted on June 28, 2021 by Ken

Cricket South Africa’s Members Council might not yet quite be the beacons of good governance all lovers of the sport hope they become, but Wednesday night’s continuation of their AGM was an efficient 20-minute process in which they accepted Advocate Norman Arendse as an independent director and voted for all four members of the crucial Audit, Governance and Risk Committee to be independent directors as well.

The Members Council’s unanimous dissatisfaction with Arendse, a former president and lead independent director of CSA, was one of the flashpoints during the first sitting of the AGM at the weekend. The Nominations Committee agreed to reconsider but came back with the advocate as the best candidate.

Given that CSA’s new Memorandum of Incorporation makes it quite clear that the Nominations Committee have the final say, the Members Council wisely put up no resistance on Wednesday night.

The 63-year-old Arendse has been a controversial figure, attracting criticism for his continued interference in the selection of the national team and a brusque manner that has been described as bullying, and is not held in any particular fondness by the players.

With memories still fresh of how CSA’s previous Audit and Risk Committee failed so dismally to deal with the malfeasance and impropriety laid bare in the Fundudzi Report, it was pleasing to see the Members Council ensure this crucial body will be totally independent.

Seasoned governance and procurement expert Dr Lawson Naidoo will chair the committee, with Steven Budlender SC, a silk who has made his name in public interest litigation, Simo Lushaba, a leading figure from the Institute of Directors and governance expert who has sat on and chaired numerous boards,  and Mark Rayner, the former CEO of MultiChoice, the other members.

Disappointing in the context of finals, but joy for ruthlessly efficient Titans 0

Posted on December 20, 2017 by Ken


In the context of thrilling T20 finals it was a disappointment, but for the Titans it was the sheer joy of ruthlessly-efficient accomplishment as they strolled to a hat-trick of RamSlam T20 Challenge titles on Saturday night with a thumping seven-wicket win, with 53 balls to spare, over the Dolphins in Centurion.

Their victory was set up by a magnificent display in the field, Chris Morris leading the attack with four for 13, the best ever figures in a franchise T20 final, as the Dolphins were shot out for just 100, the lowest ever total in a final.

Against a batting line-up as powerful as the Titans, it was never going to be enough and the home side knocked off their target of 101 in just 11.1 overs, with Quinton de Kock leading the way with 39 off 27 balls and AB de Villiers blazing a cameo of 27 off 13 deliveries.

The Titans had won the toss and sent the Dolphins in to bat, and the visitors started well enough, the opening batsmen, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Morne van Wyk, both collecting a boundary in the opening over bowled by Albie Morkel.

But the introduction of Morris for the next over from the West Lane End signalled the start of the Titans’ dominance.

Van Wyk (6) skied the second ball bowled by the all-rounder high over the point region, Farhaan Behardien back-pedalling and then taking the trickiest of catches over his shoulder.

Van Jaarsveld fell in Morris’s next over, the left-hander being bogged down with 14 off 16 balls, driving on the up and being caught at deep mid-on.

The Dolphins were 25 for two and being squeezed relentlessly by aggressive, accurate bowling and ground fielding that was also of the highest order. The development of any partnership was painstaking for the visitors and quickly nipped in the bud.

So efficient were the Titans that the biggest partnership of the innings was the 26 Dane Vilas (21) and Khaya Zondo (7) shared for the fourth wicket.

Ngidi returned to add the wicket of Dolphins captain Zondo to his earlier dismissal of Sarel Erwee (3), finishing with outstanding figures of two for 15 in his four overs, while Malusi Siboto (3-1-10-2), so obviously targeted by the Warriors in the semi-final, bounced back to get rid of the Dolphins’ two most dangerous hitters – Vilas (21) and Robbie Frylinck (0) – in the course of producing a double-wicket maiden in the 13th over.

At 67 for seven, the Dolphins were obviously not going to post anything substantial and Junior Dala (3-0-21-1) and the brilliant Morris wrapped up the innings.

De Kock showed the fluency that had eluded him so far in the campaign, collecting four fours and two sixes as he gave the Titans a brisk start, despite the early loss of Rivaldo Moonsamy (7), who fell to the wiles of Frylinck.

The part-time off-spin of Zondo accounted for De Kock, but the capacity crowd was delighted to see the skills of De Villiers, who managed to clear the boundary three times in a dozen balls, before Aiden Markram (18*) and Behardien (4*) finished the job.

CSA & anti-corruption unit have been methodical & efficient 0

Posted on December 26, 2016 by Ken


Cricket South Africa and the chairman of their anti-corruption unit, former Judge President Bernard Ngoepe, need to be congratulated for the methodical and efficient manner in which they have dealt with the attempts to fix matches during last season’s T20 competition, resulting this week in Alviro Petersen joining ringleader Gulam Bodi and Jean Symes, Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Thami Tsolekile as players who have received bans.

Petersen accepted a ban of two years this week and his was the most complex of the cases, the former Proteas batsman being both whistleblower and conspirator, both helpful and obstructive to the investigators.

That half-a-dozen players have now successfully been prosecuted – with just one more high-profile name believed to be on the radar – points to the systematic, detailed work of Ngoepe’s anti-corruption unit. There had been pressure on them early on in the investigations to speed up the process and some of the guilty were also politically-sensitive figures, but they ensured they followed due process every step of the way, even if it meant there was no news for a baying public for periods of time.

The acquittal of former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns on matchfixing charges last November really upped the ante in terms of the evidence required by cricket administrators looking to pursue successful prosecutions of those involved in corruption and CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat and Ngoepe and his staff have handled the latest South African case with the delicacy and precision of a surgeon.

While Petersen claims he raised the alarm about the nefarious activities Bodi was putting into play, the investigators always had questions about the 36-year-old’s continued involvement in the scheme. Did he pull out because he wasn’t going to get enough money out of the scam?

Petersen was implicated by the evidence of his co-accused as well as his actions in destroying key evidence, believed to be his cellphone records, and has basically been found guilty of that and of not immediately reporting the suspicious activities. Perhaps by trying to be the hero and bypassing the rules which all cricketers should know, he has probably ended his professional career.

It is fair to say Petersen is not well-liked by most of his team-mates, I have heard him referred to as “Lord Voldemort”, and, probably due to a really tough upbringing in the Port Elizabeth township of Gelvandale, he is a bristly, difficult character, always on the defensive.

Coming from a really poor background, perhaps the drive to make “easy” money was too strong; or perhaps his desire to be the hero and singlehandedly destroy Bodi’s matchfixing ring turned into hubris.

Perhaps he is guilty of merely showing poor judgement, something all of us suffer from at times, but he has paid a terrible price in his name being tarnished and losing two of his twilight years as a player, particularly in English county cricket, where he has been a prolific and highly-valued run-scorer for Lancashire.

But that’s the penalty under a system that rightly operates under a zero tolerance principle and no professional cricketer can claim that they are uneducated about the anti-corruption measures.

Petersen’s punishment is par for the course for what he did and thankfully he has accepted it without the need for protracted hearings and appeals. This frees up the anti-corruption unit to now zoom in on a former international pace bowler with especially strong political connections.

Perhaps they have left the toughest case to last.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • 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.

↑ Top