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Ken Borland

Law of averages suggests Proteas are due a draw … 0

Posted on October 31, 2023 by Ken

The law of averages suggests South Africa are due a draw in Test match cricket, and that likelihood became stronger on Friday as the entire third day’s play in the third Test against Australia in Sydney was washed out.

The last time the Proteas were involved in a Test that did not have a winner and loser was way back in March 2017, 47 matches ago, when rain washed out the final day’s play against New Zealand in Hamilton with South Africa five wickets down in their second innings and still trailing by 95 runs.

The weather is predicted to improve over the last two days in Sydney though, and the Proteas are going to have to bat the better part of 196 overs to save the game, with Australia having already posted 475 for four. That means, if the home side declare overnight, South Africa’s initial target will be 276 to avoid being forced to follow-on, which is surely Australia’s best chance of victory. The Proteas have failed to reach that mark in their last eight innings.

The fact that Australian opener Usman Khawaja is on 195 not out may buy the Proteas some more time if Australian skipper Pat Cummins is feeling sentimental and delays the declaration in order for the 36-year-old batsman to get his maiden Test double-century.

Cummins will also be mindful that he has unusually under-strength attack at his disposal, with just four frontline bowlers, only two of which are pacemen.

Alignment camps and no bubbles means Nienaber in no rush and will name squad after URC 0

Posted on July 04, 2022 by Ken

The success of the alignment camps and the likelihood that there will not be any Covid bubbles to negotiate means Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is in no rush to name his squad for the incoming series against Wales in July and will wait until the URC plays itself out.

Nienaber, speaking at SA Rugby’s announcement of a three-year initiative with Betway called Next Phase, which will develop the women’s game through growing coaching capacity, said his squad has not even been chosen yet. Wales announced their touring group on May 18.

“I’ll announce the squad only after the players have completed their commitments with their franchises,” Nienaber said in Rosebank on Thursday. “They don’t need to hear from the national coach now, just their franchise coaches.

“We haven’t yet had our selection meeting, although there is a certain group that we are looking at. We know who we’re looking at, we’ve had alignment camps, but we’ll let the teams play their URC playoffs first.

“The Welsh teams are already all out of the URC, so Wales can already be in camp, but it’s going to be more staggered for us, with players joining us as their teams fall out. The overseas players are in the same position.

“Last year it was very tough to plan, almost impossible, you’d have 10 different scenarios and see what pans out. This year looks like normal and hopefully there won’t be any bubbles to contend with,” Nienaber said.

While only a handful of players from the UK tour last November will be nervous about the beul’s axe hanging over their heads, Nienaber said he was heartened by the performances of the South African teams in the United Rugby Championship.

“I was encouraged by all four teams, all of them have played excellent rugby. Even the Lions did well with their comeback, they had a great winning streak here.”

Nienaber, who helped out with the coaching of the Springbok women’s team in 2014/15, said Next Phase came from an epiphany that their approach was wrong back then.

“Women’s rugby is on another development level and we probably made a mistake trying to foist a men’s programme on them back in 2014/15. The basics are not necessarily there with the girls because they start playing so late.

“You need to build the basics and then put the next layer in, which is adding the creative plans. I became a better coach through my involvement with them,” Nienaber said.

CSA have to mull a different legal strategy v Boucher 0

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Ken

With the disciplinary hearing just a week away, Cricket South Africa’s legal team may have to mull a completely different strategy to try and get rid of Proteas head coach Mark Boucher following Paul Adams’ decision to not testify against his erstwhile team-mate and the likelihood that former national team assistant coach Enoch Nkwe is also not going to participate.

Adams issued a statement at the weekend in which he said he was not willing to be cross-examined over the allegations of racism he made at the Social Justice and Nation-Building hearings, which have been a central pillar of CSA’s case against Boucher.

CSA have also charged Boucher over his treatment of Nkwe, who resigned from his post in August last year, using the reasons he gave to the board as ammunition. But informed sources say Nkwe is not willing to present evidence, believing the disciplinary hearing is a matter between CSA and the head coach.

Boucher is facing charges of gross misconduct, with CSA seeking his dismissal, and, in terms of labour law, he has the right to have any witnesses against him cross-examined. If neither Adams nor Nkwe are there, his lawyers are bound to insist their statements cannot be included in the hearing.

Even though his accusers’ case would now seem to have gone to pot in a dirty pickle-jar bong, Boucher’s legal team say nothing has changed from their point of view.

“Mark Boucher said up front that all he was interested in was clearing his name, which has been tarnished,” Mohammed Chavoos told The Citizen on Monday.

“He welcomed the opportunity to do that at the hearing and that still remains the case. Our position has never changed.

“It’s up to CSA to deal with their witnesses, they were the ones who embarked on this process. All we want to do is exonerate Mark.

“It’s why labour law is there, the principle of letting the other side be heard, that’s what’s important. Mark has welcomed the chance to clear his name of these allegations,” Chavoos said.

In his statement at the weekend, Adams said he never intended to single out Boucher in the SJN hearings, where he revealed the existence of the “Brown Shit” fines meeting song, but the former Proteas spinner did say the wicketkeeper/batsman “should come and say sorry, if that’s enough” and also targeted Boucher’s appointment as Titans coach in 2016.

“We want to put South African cricket first and take the Proteas back to number one. In my view, Mark Boucher is the best coach for South Africa, that’s where he belongs,” Chavoos added.

Boucher’s disciplinary hearing on charges of racism is scheduled for May 16-20, with senior counsel Terry Motau presiding.

The SJN report has already been partially discredited by former director of cricket Graeme Smith winning his arbitration hearing, with costs, against CSA.

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.

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