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Ken Borland

A very good idea gone horribly wrong 0

Posted on January 19, 2022 by Ken

Despite their dodgy origin, there are many who believed the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings would be a very good idea, something necessary to try and heal the increasingly polarised and embittered environment of South African cricket.

But now that the SJN report has been made public, what a grave disappointment it has been and what a waste of R7.5 million. So much evidence has simply been ignored or totally misinterpreted and the legal flaws within the findings reflect very poorly on Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza’s standing as one of our finest jurists. Never mind the poor job done by his assistants from Werksmans Attorneys.

It is now clear that the entire focus of the SJN was on getting dirt on Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher. Addressing historic wrongs and racial discrimination was just a side project.

Ntsebeza has found Smith’s appointment as director of cricket to be irregular and has also accused him of racist behaviour in the past. This is despite what I thought was compelling evidence presented by the likes of Cricket South Africa, the South African Cricketers’ Association and former Proteas manager Mohammed Moosajee.

The report almost entirely ignores all of that and goes way outside of its mandate in slamming Smith’s appointment. Surely Ntsebeza is aware that headhunting is a common occurrence in the corporate world and his appointment was approved by a number of people, the majority of whom were Black?

But no, it was racist. As was Boucher’s selection as Proteas head coach.

Enoch Nkwe is a very good coach and, in an ideal world, should be the successor to Boucher. But to say he was discriminated against based on the colour of his skin is ridiculous. It ignores the fact Boucher had more experience and more success coaching at the level below the Proteas and the wicketkeeper/batsman’s immense international knowledge from his playing days.

Three franchise trophies in one season point to Nkwe’s potential, but to equate trophies won in second-tier cricket in the Netherlands, semi-pro cricket or junior weeks, and even a second place in the Canadian T20 league, with Boucher’s achievements is ludicrous. The report also makes no mention of the 3-0 hammering South Africa suffered in India under Nkwe as interim head coach just before Boucher’s arrival.

The SJN could really have done with some advice from an ex cricketer or anyone with some idea of how high-performance sport works. The total lack of expertise in this regard has been made clear by the report. There was an early warning sign of this when legal assistant Sandile July asked why Imran Tahir had not stepped down from the Proteas team to allow another spinner a chance!

I also believe Mr July exhibited a lack of impartiality in his examination of those witnesses who had been implicated. He seemed to implicitly believe that the evidence of the complainants, even those dishonest individuals banned from the game for their involvement in matchfixing, was true.

The allegation made this week that over 250 paragraphs of the complainants’ heads of argument, which were written by July and Fumisa Ngqele, have been simply cut and pasted word-for-word directly into the ombudsman’s report, reflects poorly on the fairness of the SJN process.

These are not just minor matters that need amendment. Most damning of all is Ntsebeza’s own admission in his closing remarks that the evidence presented was not able to be tested. He says he cannot make definitive findings, describing his own conclusions as being “tentative”.

And yet he has happily painted Smith, Boucher, AB de Villiers and various other former players and officials as being racist. The decent thing for Ntsebeza to do would be to pay back half the R7.5 million to CSA for doing half a job, never mind the compensation he might have to fork out for the damage he has done to the reputations of people based on “untested evidence” and “tentative findings”.

Steyn’s imminent international return looking unlikely 0

Posted on July 01, 2020 by Ken

A return to international action any time soon is looking increasingly unlikely for Dale Steyn after the 37-year-old fast bowler was omitted from a 45-man Cricket South Africa High Performance Squad that resumed training this week in small, monitored groups with their franchise coaches.

And, judging by the statement released on Tuesday by CSA to explain Steyn’s absence, it unfortunately looks as if South Africa’s leading wicket-taker is once again struggling with injury.

“Dale is not available to take part in the high performance training programme at this stage. Cricket South Africa’s medical team is monitoring his fitness and are in constant contact with his medical team in Cape Town. We will evaluate his progress over the next few months and go with the advice of the experts in regards to the next steps,” director of cricket Graeme Smith said in the statement.

The nature of his ailment is clouded in uncertainty at the moment, but apparently they are just niggles. Steyn missed last year’s World Cup due to long-standing shoulder problems and has played just eight Tests, nine ODIs and five T20 Internationals for the Proteas in the last three years.

In August, Steyn announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to prolong his white-ball career and was targeting the ICC World T20 Cup in Australia in October. But with a fresh Covid-19 outbreak happening in Victoria, it is now very doubtful that that tournament will take place this year.

There was better news though for several uncapped players as they received confirmation that they are in the Proteas’ plans for the future.

Experienced leg-spinner Shaun von Berg, batsmen Ed Moore, Raynard van Tonder, Sarel Erwee, Tony de Zorzi, Rudi Second, Keegan Petersen and Marques Ackerman, all-rounders Sisanda Magala and Gerald Coetzee, and pace bowlers Glenton Stuurman and Nandre Burger were all called up for training.

The High Performance Squad also offers the chance of an international reprieve for the likes of batsmen Pite van Biljon, Khaya Zondo and Theunis de Bruyn, fast bowlers Junior Dala and Daryn Dupavillon, all-rounder Wiaan Mulder and spinner Senuran Muthusamy.

Champion limited-overs leg-spinner Imran Tahir is training with the Dolphins in Durban, while Chris Morris, although he is still available for the 3TCricket event that will herald the return of cricket in the coming weeks, is not included in the Proteas’ plans.

High Performance Squad

Batsmen: Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, Ed Moore, Pieter Malan, Dean Elgar, Pite van Biljon, David Miller, Zubayr Hamza, Temba Bavuma, Raynard van Tonder, Sarel Erwee, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks, Khaya Zondo, Tony de Zorzi, Theunis de Bruyn, Rudi Second, Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Verreynne, Keegan Petersen, Faf du Plessis, Marques Ackerman.

Spinners: Shaun von Berg, Keshav Maharaj, George Linde, Bjorn Fortuin, Senuran Muthusamy, Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir

All-rounders: Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Sisanda Magala, Gerald Coetzee, Jon-Jon Smuts, Wiaan Mulder,

Fast bowlers: Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Glenton Stuurman, Junior Dala, Kagiso Rabada, Daryn Dupavillon, Nandre Burger, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks.

Long shot Nips in at end of T20GL draft 0

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Ken


Kyle Nipper, the 29-year-old Dolphins all-rounder, was watching the closing stages of the T20 Global League draft on Sunday, thinking that it was becoming an increasingly long shot that he would be involved in the much-anticipated new tournament that starts on November 3.

Nipper, slow left-arm orthodox and a left-handed batsman, lives in Pietermaritzburg and, just like the famous last runner to beat the clock in the Comrades Marathon that ends every second year in the KwaZulu-Natal capital, he was the focus of sporting drama on Sunday as he was the last of the 144 players chosen in the draft in Cape Town, picked by outgoing Proteas coach Russell Domingo for the Pretoria Mavericks.

“I had been out on the golf course during the day and once I got home I started streaming the draft. It was quite nerve-wracking and I thought it wasn’t going to happen for me, so it was a pleasant surprise to be the last guy chosen. I’m extremely excited about this tournament,” Nipper said on Sunday evening.

Nipper has spent a long time on the fringes of the Dolphins squad, having made his debut for them back in 2009/10, but has never made a fool of himself at franchise level, with an economy rate of 7.88 with the ball in the dozen T20 Challenge matches he has played.

And now he is part of a squad that includes global superstars like AB de Villiers, Dwayne Bravo and Morne Morkel, as well as fellow spinners Keshav Maharaj and Johan Botha, the veteran former Proteas captain now based in Australia.

“I have no concerns about being in Pretoria, I would have taken anywhere. I feel like I am part of KZN and I’ve tried to be loyal as a homegrown player, although I am a bit disappointed that I haven’t played more because I believe I’ve proven myself more than I had to.

“But it’s awesome to be chosen by the Proteas coach, hopefully he’s seen a bit of potential in me. Obviously they know what they want and it’s nice to be involved in their plans. I hope I get to play a couple of games, but I’m very happy for Kesh, he’s taken to the international stage so well, he’s got that experience now and someone like Johan Botha has been around the world. So I’m very keen just to learn a bit more from them,” Nipper said.

Titans change captain in quest for 1st victory 0

Posted on December 14, 2014 by Ken

The Unlimited Titans have changed their captain in their increasingly-desperate quest for their first victory in the RamSlam T20 Challenge, which continues against the Chevrolet Knights in Bloemfontein tonight.

West Indies T20 skipper Darren Sammy will take over the captaincy from Henry Davids, with coach Rob Walter saying he hoped the change would lift the team and allow the opener to produce match-winning performances with the bat.

“It’s never an easy decision, especially since Henry is a quality guy who always puts the team first, but the reasons are two-fold. Firstly, I’d like Henry just to focus on winning games with the bat. As a coach, I want him to fulfil his potential as a stand-out cricketer, and he can be devastating against any attack.

“Secondly, it’s probably a good time for new energy and new insights, Darren will bring something different – the way West Indians play. Hopefully the change will bring some freshness to the team,” Walter told The Citizen yesterday.

Although some sideline critics have questioned certain quaint tactical decisions by Davids, Walter said this was not the reason for the change.

“There’ve always been plausible reasons for the decisions and a captain needs to back his gut-feelings. I may have done some things differently, but that doesn’t mean to say Henry wasn’t right. The game is very different on the field, under that immense pressure, than it is sitting on the side. It’s on a knife-edge,” the coach said.

A much bigger problem for the Titans has been their bowling at the start of the innings, with them only able to capture a single wicket in the six powerplay overs in each of their three matches thus far, while conceding 79 runs against the Cape Cobras, 59 versus the Knights at Centurion and 75 against the Dolphins.

David Wiese, who took three for 21 in Sydney last weekend in the only match he played against Australia, has returned to the Titans squad and will sharpen their attack, while Junior Dala has been added to the party but has only an outside chance of displacing the experienced Ethy Mbhalati.

“We have struggled in the first six overs, there’s no doubt, but it’s not only us. The pitches have been really good and the batsmen’s skills seem to have improved, but taking wickets is the key. Not being able to do that has been the stand-out reason we’ve been under pressure, trying to pull the game back every time. David can potentially help with that and he can stop the run-rate,” Walter said.

The Knights go into the game after an extraordinary tie with the Highveld Lions and a tied Super-Over still saw them return from Potchefstroom with zero points, and then a washed out match in Paarl.

“It’s hampered us a little bit, but we haven’t had much time to ponder about it and I still feel we have momentum. We’ve bowled very well, they’ve worked out great plans and executed well and our batsmen just need to set up the innings, make sure we go into the back end with wickets in hand and can use every ball to set up a winning total,” Knights coach Sarel Cilliers said.

One of the Knights’ best bowlers, veteran Dillon du Preez (bruised foot), will go into the match under an injury cloud, but the home side have plenty of pace bowling back-up in Quinton Friend, Duanne Olivier and Corne Dry.

Opening batsman Reeza Hendricks has returned from national duty for the Knights, who are second on the log.


Knights: Gerhardt Abrahams, Reeza Hendricks, Rudi Second, Tumelo Bodibe, Diego Rosier, Andre Russell, Obus Pienaar, Werner Coetsee, Dillon du Preez, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Malusi Siboto, Quinton Friend, Patrick Botha, Corne Dry, Duanne Olivier.

Titans: Henry Davids, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Darren Sammy, Qaasim Adams, Mangaliso Mosehle, David Wiese, Roelof van der Merwe, Corbin Bosch, Tabraiz Shamsi, Ethy Mbhalati, Junior Dala, Cobus Pienaar, JP de Villiers, Heino Kuhn.

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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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