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Ken Borland

CEO says it’s irrelevant whether BBCo houses Nkosi’s rugby career in future as Bok wing is found 0

Posted on April 13, 2023 by Ken

Whether the Blue Bulls Company houses Sbu Nkosi’s rugby career in future is irrelevant right now, CEO Edgar Rathbone said on Tuesday, because their focus is on making sure the Springbok wing gets the help he needs to solve his personal issues.

Nkosi had been missing from Loftus Versfeld for three weeks, raising fears for his wellbeing and safety, before he was found at his father’s house in Emalahleni (Witbank) on Monday afternoon. Rathbone was among the search party and he had a 40-minute talk with the 26-year-old.

“It was important for me to establish he was okay, safe and unharmed, and to find out where he is at. I was thrilled he was alive but sad to see the state he was in,” Rathbone said on Tuesday.

“We will provide the support he needs, but it’s difficult to put a timeline on his recovery, we need to give him space and get him back to full health. We need to follow the process, for some people it takes one month, for others six months, it depends on the depth they have to go.

“Our goal is to get him back on the rugby field and feeling like the champion he is again. Even if that’s not at the Bulls, it’s our job to get him ready. It’s irrelevant right now whether he plays for the Bulls again or some other team, it’s about Sbu Nkosi the person.

“Our concern is not for Sbu Nkosi the rugby player but for him as a person. He is an employee of the company and being absent without leave for three weeks does have consequences. But at this stage, we’re missing the point if we’re worrying about whether he still has a contract or not,” Rathbone said.

In terms of how the Bulls handled the disappearance of one of their star players, Rathbone said they had to cut their cloth according to the circumstances at the time, but he added “I’m sure mistakes were made along the way, but the player’s reputation also needed to be managed and his safety was a concern as well”.

While both the Bulls and MyPlayers, the players’ organisation to look after their interests, have mental health support measures in place, Rathbone said they would review the overall efficiency of these systems.

The CEO added that he hoped the general public would cotton on to the fact that coarse messaging on social media can lead struggling players into the dumps.

“I would ask everyone to be kind and not to make any remarks that may be harmful to Sbu. If you look at the comments and articles on social media, it’s quite frightening how stones are thrown at people.

“Everyone is going through stuff, no-one is immune to it. I would ask people to have a bit of respect for their fellow human beings.

“Unlike other jobs, our employees win or lose every Saturday and that’s pressure. I know it’s what they signed up for, but if they need help handling it then that support needs to be there,” Rathbone said.

Elgar – with help of Rassie & Temba – tames wretch of a Wanderers pitch for remarkable win 0

Posted on February 07, 2022 by Ken

Captain Dean Elgar, with the help of Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma, tamed a wretch of a Wanderers pitch as he led South Africa to a remarkable seven-wicket win in the second Test against India on Thursday.

Chasing a daunting target of 240 on a deteriorating pitch, opening batsman Elgar shepherded his team to victory with 96 not out, a magnificent display of patience, composure and ability to absorb pressure.

South Africa had to not only deal with a top-class attack on a pitch offering variable bounce and movement off the surface, but also the agony of having to wait until 3.45pm before they could resume their innings on 118/2. It had rained for most of the day at the Wanderers, sprucing up the pitch and also ensuring that the Proteas had to bat under completely overcast skies.

But the lengthy delay seemed to affect India’s focus more than South Africa’s. The Indian bowlers were poor on the fourth afternoon and they just could not bowl the number of deliveries in the right areas in order to create the wicket-taking opportunities that were undoubtedly there.

Elgar and Van der Dussen showed tremendous judgement and positivity as they added 57 runs in 14 overs on Thursday afternoon. Van der Dussen, considering the worries over his form, showed great temperament as he made a vital 40 off 92 balls in just over two hours at the crease.

Van der Dussen eventually fell to the sort of delivery everyone was warning about on this wearing pitch – back-of-a-length, rising sharply and jagging away – and try as he might to keep it down he could not help but send a low catch to second slip.

He left the scene with 65 more runs needed and vice-captain Bavuma then joined his skipper, a partnership that was always going to provide much grit and plenty of composure.

Failure has no parents, but perhaps the pivotal moment in South Africa’s highest ever fourth-innings run-chase at the Wanderers, and their sixth best in Test history, came when Bavuma, yet to get off the mark, drove firmly at Shardul Thakur, popping up a return catch. The bowler had it in his right hand, briefly juggled, and then the ball popped out.

Victory then came with astonishing ease and Elgar and Bavuma (23*) added 68 in little more than an hour, needing just 85 deliveries to finish a job most expected to be beyond this Proteas batting line-up.

The South African team can be immensely proud of how they stayed in the contest and, when conditions were at their toughest, they prevailed.

Five weeks of intense cricket that will keep CSA’s candle wicks burning 0

Posted on January 17, 2022 by Ken

So the mighty Indian team will indeed be gracing our fields for five weeks of what should not only be intense cricket for the Proteas but a timely financial boost that will help the constrained Cricket South Africa administrators keep the candle wicks burning.

While one hopes the Proteas are able to make it a hotly contested series, there is no doubt that in terms of global boardroom politics, CSA are in a much weaker position than the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Of course South African cricket are eternally grateful for India agreeing to honour their commitment to tour when it looked likely that the Omicron variant of Covid would snuff out the tour.

But hopefully that gratitude does not express itself in timidity which allows the BCCI to bully or ride roughshod over South African cricket.

India have been calling the tune in world cricket for a while now, deservedly so when one considers they bring the most money into the game, but there will come a time when CSA have to stand up for their rights.

India are so used to everyone just kowtowing to them that there are occasions when they take a chance and push the boundaries of fair play.

One such occasion occurred this week in Bloemfontein, where their A team, to whom we are also extremely grateful for completing their series against SA A, displayed some incredibly frustrating time-wasting techniques and skullduggery.

As soon as the SA A team, trailing by just eight runs on first innings, made a solid start to their second innings, reaching 89/1 at tea on the third day, India began to ensure much time was taken out of the game.

In the two-and-a-half hour session after tea, they bowled just 26 overs as their bowlers crawled through their deliveries. Field settings were regularly tampered with and then returned to what they were, and every couple of overs, one of the Indian players would go to ground roaring and writhing in agony. The physiotherapist spent so much time on the field he should have been in the starting line-up.

The responsibility in those circumstances lies with the umpires and match referee to ensure the game is played in the right spirit, and there are laws, penalty runs and fines at their disposal to help them do it.

But this is India, who are doing South African cricket a massive favour remember, so there was a decided reluctance to ruffle any feathers.

The Test series against India is likely to have South African umpires due to the problems of travelling in these times of Covid, and one hopes the International Cricket Council devolve enough power to those officials so that they are seen to be representing the ICC and not CSA.

Otherwise they may not feel empowered enough to make tough calls against India should the need arise.

Hopefully we will be spared any controversy though, and will just be able to enjoy the fine cricket we know both teams are capable of producing. Given the aggressive fast bowlers South Africa have at their disposal, and India’s ability to fight fire with fire, there will certainly be some feisty action.

Which is fine, as long as that mysterious, difficult to quantify, line between competitiveness and unsporting behaviour is not crossed.

But anyone who watches this intriguing series will also be expecting two very passionate teams to sometimes get very close to that line.

I say bring it on!

Malan says his brilliant century was thanks to a little help from his friends 0

Posted on September 20, 2021 by Ken

Proteas opener Janneman Malan said his success in scoring a brilliant century against Sri Lanka at the weekend was thanks to a little help from his friends.

Malan’s brilliantly composed 121 off 135 balls led South Africa to a series-levelling 67-run win in Colombo, with the visitors posting a commanding 283 for six as their top-order dovetailed superbly, supporting him in successive partnerships of 43, 96, 38 and 86. Heinrich Klaasen then provided the explosive finish with his impressive 43 off 27 balls.

“The batting unit did really well, the coaches have set us realistic goals and expectations and we know that if we hit those then we have a good chance of winning. Reeza Hendricks’ 51 was very valuable, he scored at a run-a-ball, and Heinrich deserves credit as well. And just watching Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen with the way they go about things, our batting is in a good space.

“Particularly against spin, we’ve seen the sweep is very effective, you can trust the bounce here and the straight bat tends to get beaten by the turn. And we also bowled really well. The bowlers didn’t do too badly in the first game, but maybe we underestimated how full we can go and the Sri Lankan batsmen like to go square,” Malan said after his man of the match performance.

The arrival of the 25-year-od in the ODI team has been nothing short of incredible. Malan has now scored three hundreds and two fifties n his eight ODI innings. He has scored a world-record 627 runs in his first eight innings, and that includes a first-ball duck on debut!

It is obvious that Malan’s uncomplicated style and unfazed approach has stood him in good stead.

“You never know how many chances you’re going to get and these are new conditions and you have to try and adapt and trust your skills. I try not to think about my batting too hard, I just break it down and take it game by game. I don’t really know what to make of my start, I’m just trying to score runs. I feel fortunate to have made such a good start to my career,” Malan said.

The third and decisive ODI will be played at the same Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.

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    Don’t be so busy – even working for God – that you don’t have regular quiet time. Don’t let your activities become more important than your time with the Father. You can be alive ‘for’ God without experiencing the presence and power of the living Christ.

    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

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