for quality writing

Ken Borland

IPL teams interested in 4 of the 6 CSA T20 pies 0

Posted on May 30, 2022 by Ken

A new T20 league co-owned by Cricket South Africa and SuperSport will be held in January and Indian Premier League teams are believed to be interested in four of the six pies that are up for sale.

According to a statement released by CSA on Friday, the new league will comprise six privately-owned franchises playing each other in a double round, before the top three sides move to the playoff stages.

These six teams will be totally divorced from the existing domestic teams, who will continue to play their own T20 competition. But grounds like the Wanderers, SuperSport Park, Kingsmead and Newlands are bound to be used as venues and will be paid hosting fees.

The previous problems faced by the ill-fated T20 Global League and Mzansi Super League in securing decent broadcast deals for the events are a thing of the past thanks to SuperSport’s investment not only in televising the matches and providing a global feed, but also as actual stakeholders in the tournament. SuperSport CEO Marc Jury told Saturday Citizen on Friday that “shareholding details will be provided later, but we can confirm that SuperSport and CSA are co-owners.”

The new franchise league seems to already have a better foundation than its predecessors and there has apparently been interest from four of the major IPL teams in getting involved. Names such as Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders have been mentioned, but Jury said the ongoing “discussions are confidential and SuperSport are not at liberty to provide more details at this time”.

While some local CEOs were a little gun-shy at the prospect of another T20 franchise league being launched, saying “we have heard and been through all this before”, others said they were “really excited and it’s a great opportunity” for what CSA have marketed as “all-action cricket sportainment”.

January provides a gap in the international calendar such that all the top local players, including the Proteas, should be available, as well as international stars, except for those who are playing in Australia’s Big Bash, which traditionally runs through until the end of January.

CSA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki said “a sustainable business model has been created for both the league and the teams, with a healthy salary bill to attract the very best local and international players.

“The league also represents a fresh injection of funds into the sport in SA, which will help grow the game.”

There will be a player auction and all the teams will be entitled to field up to four overseas players in any starting XI. No transformation targets will apply to the competition.

Franschhoek 0

Posted on January 09, 2019 by Ken



The view over the Franschhoek Valley from the pass leading to Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve

The view over the Franschhoek Valley from the pass leading to Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve.

Driving up the Franschhoek Pass to the car park of the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, the views over the famous wine-producing valley are already spectacular, but once I had parked, I was more interested in the beautifully chirpy, melodic twittering loudly emanating from somewhere close by.

Dashing off, I found a Cape Grassbird prominently perched on some scrubby Restios and singing away in the early-morning sunshine. For me, it is one of the prettiest calls around and I felt doubly blessed to also have such a good, clear sighting of an impressive bird that can look quite dapper with its black stripes on rusty red and a long tail.

Usually, the Grassbird is skulking around in dense vegetation, but in the fynbos areas of the Western Cape, it apparently becomes quite territorial and brazen in its calling from prominent perches.

Mont Rochelle protects prime mountain fynbos and although there are not great numbers of birds to see, especially when the mists come over the mountain, there is much of interest.

The view into Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve

The view into Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve.

A lovely little Karoo Prinia, another streaky bird with a long tail, was also spotted as the undulating trail became more wind-swept, while Yellow Bishop were buzzing around the Proteas in the drainage lines and Cape Canary were also easily spotted.

The pretty town of Franschhoek itself is, understandably when you consider the name means “French Corner”, full of alien vegetation, most notably the vineyards that produce the marvellous wine, but that does not mean the birding is bad.

Some of the beautiful gardens of the town host Swee Waxbill feeding on the grasses in Spring time (late September for this trip), while the impressive Malachite Sunbird can find lots of nectar sources in town.

There are alien vertebrates to go with the introduced vegetation, with Grey Squirrels reaching the northern-most limit of their range in Franschhoek, and enjoying all the big trees of the urban areas, while Mallards frequent the Franschhoek River alongside the bird they most often hybridise with, the Yellowbilled Duck.

Helmeted Guineafowl are the most common bird of the actual vineyards, although we now call them “Wine Turkeys”.

That’s because the charming English couple we met on their honeymoon saw we were birders while we were on the wine tram (a magnificent way to do a tour of the estates) and started telling us about all the “Wine Turkeys” they had seen during the trip!

Sightings list

Egyptian Goose

Hadeda Ibis

Reed Cormorant

Swee Waxbill

Grey Squirrel

Helmeted Guineafowl

Chacma Baboon

Rock Martin

Cape Grassbird

Karoo Prinia

Pied Crow

Yellow Bishop

Cape Canary


Cape Bulbul

Blacksmith Plover

Yellowbilled Duck

Blackshouldered Kite

Whitethroated Swallow

Cape White-Eye

Malachite Sunbird

Redwinged Starling

Sacred Ibis


How the Springboks win v Italy of most interest 0

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Ken

The Springboks will almost certainly emerge victorious over Italy in their Test at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, but the way they achieve that triumph is what most people will be interested in.

Italy have lost all 10 previous Tests they have played against South Africa, with an average score of 53-13, and even though they are an improved outfit since their last meeting – the 55-11 defeat in East London in 2010 – they still have a way to go before they can seriously expect to beat the Springboks on their home turf.

With the world-class Sergio Parisse an inspirational figure at eighthman, they will bring a combative, committed pack to the contest on Saturday, and a stern challenge in the scrums, even with brilliant tighthead Martin Castrogiovanni coming off the bench, but it is difficult to see what other weapons they can bring to the table.

They lack generals at halfback with Edoardo Gori at scrumhalf and the 33-year-old Alberto di Bernardo making his debut at flyhalf, while it is difficult to see the rest of their backline finding a way through what is generally a formidable Springboks defence.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer struggled to keep his clients – the South African rugby public – happy last year as he won seven of 12 Tests. Of course his primary aims are winning and building a team for the next World Cup, rather than playing a brand of rugby that the public likes.

But if your greatest desire when it comes to the Springboks is seeing tries and the ball being thrown around by an entertaining backline, then Saturday’s game should provide a few more moments of pleasure than almost all of the games last year did.

Meyer’s selection of the likes of Willie le Roux at fullback, JJ Engelbrecht at outside centre and Jano Vermaak at scrumhalf suggests he wants to bring some youthful enthusiasm to the attack and the team he announced this week has been met with a thumbs-up by most critics.

The Springboks will, of course, still crash the ball up through the likes of powerful carriers like Willem Alberts, Pierre Spies, Eben Etzebeth, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira, Jean de Villiers and substitutes Coenie Oosthuizen, Flip van der Merwe and Chiliboy Ralepelle, but it is hoped the backline will keep the ball in hand more often than kicking up-and-unders.

Meyer confirmed that Le Roux’s call-up was due to the brand of rugby he displayed for the Cheetahs, and that’s what the Springbok coach wants him to reproduce on Saturday.

“He has shown himself to be a player who has that X-factor we need to add to the mix if we are going to be a complete team,” said Meyer. “If you look at the past World Cups, they’re not usually decided by lots of tries, but an X-factor moment in a key World Cup game can win you the trophy.

“I’ve had a chat with Willie and told him that what I am expecting from him in this Test match is what he has done at SuperRugby level. I don’t want him to change anything from what he does at the Cheetahs. That means he will be given licence to play his natural game.”

Hopefully that vote of confidence will see Le Roux prosper. Meyer is obviously not just looking for X-factor from his fullback; he also needs a good kicking game, security in the air and solid defence.

An Italian team not renowned for dazzling attacking play provides the ideal opportunity for the 23-year-old to show he can make his mark at international level as well.

A resurgent Morné Steyn is there at flyhalf for the percentage game if necessary, while the presence of De Villiers would provide invaluable experience for a new-look backline. The Springbok captain is, however, battling a hamstring niggle and if he is ruled unfit it would mean a debut for another exciting young gun, Bulls centre Jan Serfontein.

Pat Lambie had his backers for the flyhalf position on his home ground, but is on the bench to provide even more attacking impact if need be.

“I rate Patrick Lambie highly and he will get his chance to play. My view is that we have two flyhalves and which one plays will depend on what we need from a particular game. A lot of people have pigeon-holed me as a guy who only likes players who can play a certain way, but if you look at my Bulls teams over the years, there were always guys there that were a bit different and could provide that missing X-factor,” Meyer said.

Saturday could just be the day when we see that come to fruition in the Green and Gold jersey.


South Africa: 15-Willie le Roux, 14-Bryan Habana, 13-JJ Engelbrecht, 12-Jean de Villiers, 11-Bjorn Basson, 10-Morné Steyn, 9-Jano Vermaak, 8-Pierre Spies, 7-Willem Alberts, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Juandré Kruger, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Adriaan Strauss, 1-Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: 16-Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Coenie Oosthuizen, 19-Flip van der Merwe, 20-Arno Botha, 21-Ruan Pienaar, 22-Pat Lambie, 23-Jan Serfontein.

Italy: 15-Andrea Masi, 14-Giovanbattista Venditti, 13-Luca Morisi, 12-Alberto Sgarbi, 11-Luke McLean, 10-Alberto di Bernardo, 9-Edoardo Gori, 8-Sergio Parisse, 7-Robert Barbieri, 6-Alessandro Zanni, 5-Marco Bortolami, 4-Antonio Pavanello, 3-Lorenzo Cittadini, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1-Alberto de Marchi. Replacements:  16-Davide Giazzon, 17-Matias Aguero, 18-Martin Castrogiovanni, 19-Valerio Bernabo, 20-Joshua Furno, 21-Tobias Botes, 22-Luciano Orquera, 23-Tommaso Iannone

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Even if I’m just a signpost on the road, it would be a source of great joy to know that my service for Christ is effective. It may just be something you say; a kind deed; support in times of need; a sympathetic ear.

    Because you bear his holy name, God expects you to be his witnesses, to proclaim the gospel, and to win souls for God. But Christ inspires you through his Holy Spirit to do this.

    Persevere in your service as Christ did – through obstacles, disappointment and adversity, and never give up hope.

    “Seek the Lord in prayer and open your heart to the Holy Spirit so that Christ can become an essential part of your life. As he leads you along his path, you will experience unparalleled fulfillment that can only be found in serving Jesus Christ.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

↑ Top