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Ken Borland

Lions expected Covid cases & tour will go ahead – Gatland 0

Posted on July 22, 2021 by Ken

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said the squad was told before the tour to expect a couple of Covid cases within their camp and he is still absolutely sure that their Test series with the Springboks will still go ahead.

Gatland said they knew the key to their tour would be their ability to adapt and he believes the squad showed that in highly impressive fashion as they went on to the field at short notice against the Sharks and demolished them 54-7 at Ellis Park on Wednesday night.

The match against the Sharks was only confirmed as going ahead two hours before kickoff following a hectic day of testing and retesting for the Lions after the positive Covid tests for one player and one member of management, plus the isolation of their close contacts.

“I honestly believe we will have the Test series. Obviously there have been a few cases in the Springboks camp and we hope they get everything right in the next couple of weeks so we can have a good Test series. The medics said before we arrived in South Africa that we were likely to pick up a case or two and it will be all about how we deal with it. The last couple of days have been quite surreal and really challenging.

“I’m incredibly proud of how the team adjusted and, more than the result of the match, what I’m really pleased about is the togetherness of the group. My message to the team was ‘let’s use this as a positive, whatever is thrown at us, we can cope, it will not faze us’. Faced with potential chaos, we needed to adapt and change, that’s what we did and the players were outstanding,” Gatland said.

Although Gatland has made it clear none of his squad can consider themselves to have booked places in the Test team just yet, lock Iain Henderson, who captained the Lions against the Sharks, said there is no doubt players are taking their opportunities to show the selectors that they are ready to face the Springboks.

“This is an incredibly tight bunch of guys and you can see the team bonds are thriving. Everyone is trying their utmost to put their hand up and the team were able to carry out their roles excellently, even though we are still trying to get our breath at altitude. The scoreboard might not show it, but these have been two very tough games and the players are certainly making it challenging for the selectors.

“The way the guys carried themselves having to play at a moment’s notice, they could have made any number of excuses, but we made sure we kept on track with what we want to do on this tour. To pitch up the way we did after an unbelievably difficult day was great,” Henderson said.

England cricket tour set to go ahead 0

Posted on October 23, 2020 by Ken

Despite Cricket South Africa and government currently being at loggerheads over the refusal of their Board to step down, England’s tour next month looks set to go ahead following a magnanimous gesture by government.

England is one of the designated high-risk countries when it comes to Covid-19, but reports overseas on Tuesday suggested the South African government have not only allowed their contingent of more than 40 people to enter the country but have also waived the usual quarantine requirements as long as the 50-over world champions remain in a biosecure bubble.

That means England will be allowed to train at the Western Province Cricket Club for the 10 days between their arrival on November 17 and the first match against the Proteas. The tourists are apparently going to stay at The Vineyard Hotel, along with the South African squad.

Three ODIs and three T20 internationals are on the schedule for England, with all the matches on tour being played either at Newlands in Cape Town or Boland Park in Paarl, without spectators.

The series will follow hot on the heels of the Indian Premier League, but both England captain Eoin Morgan and Proteas skipper Quinton de Kock expressed their enthusiasm for the series on Monday night when they spoke at a Chance to Shine charity event.

“There is a huge responsibility not just to get your home country’s fixtures underway, but a huge responsibility to facilitate other countries around the world. We will do what we can to try and get cricket back on, because it means a huge amount for people in Lockdown in their own countries, and also for Cricket South Africa financially.

“I know the worry we had about potentially not bowling a ball all summer and the detrimental impact that would have, probably to grassroots cricket more than any other part of the game. If the tour goes ahead, we’d love to come down, as the series we played last time was incredible,” Morgan said.

“If the boys do come over I’m sure it’ll be a good series once again,” De Kock said. “The world saw the last series between us, even though we lost, we still played unbelievable cricket, so did England. We are hoping it will go on, but with the pandemic, who knows?”

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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

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


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