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Ken Borland



2nd day cancelled in mark of respect, but Test may be robbed of another day 0

Posted on October 24, 2022 by Ken

Following the cancellation of Friday’s second day of play in a mark of respect for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the decisive third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval will resume on Saturday, but there is no confirmation yet over whether the match will be robbed of another day’s play.

The first day of action was completely washed out after England had won the toss and sent the Proteas in to bat, meaning Saturday would be the third day’s play unless the Test is extended until Tuesday. If the extra day is not added then the deciding Test, with the series locked at 1-1, becomes a de facto three-day match. Although both of the previous Tests at Lord’s and Old Trafford were completed inside three days, the Oval has been a much friendlier batting venue in the past.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Friday afternoon the decision to resume all cricket activities on Saturday, saying it is in line with the Official National Mourning guidelines and the advice they have received from the UK government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

With the United Kingdom suffering the loss of their longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II having reigned for 70 years, cricket will be paying its respects with a minute’s silence being observed and then the national anthem being played before the start of play.

All players and coaches will wear black armbands and branded inventory will be replaced with messaging paying respects to the Queen, according to the ECB statement.

A Cricket South Africa spokesperson told The Citizen on Friday that whether the Test will be extended through to Tuesday is “still to be determined with discussions ongoing between the ECB and CSA”.

A further update is expected later on Friday.

The passing of the Queen and the effect on sport 0

Posted on October 24, 2022 by Ken

The passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has not only caused great sorrow in the United Kingdom as they have lost the longest-serving monarch they ever had, but around the world where she was a much-loved figure, one of the constants of the 20th and 21st centuries and all the turmoil practically three generations lived through.

The charming sight of the Queen, always so immaculately turned out, meeting sporting teams is also now a thing of the past. I wonder if King Charles III will bring the same gravitas and elegance to the occasion …

While meeting government ministers who invariably end up delaying the scheduled starting time of whatever sporting event they are piggybacking on is not the sort of thing sports stars keep in the memory banks, and they largely annoy spectators, shaking hands with the Queen was always a memorable moment.

Part of that had to do with the fact that she was engaging, had a famously mischievous sense of humour and always had a sharp eye on proceedings. She and Prince Philip were avid cricket fans and she visited Lord’s on 25 occasions.

Jonty Rhodes scored a quickfire, sparkling century in the opening match of South Africa’s 1994 tour of England, against the Earl of Carnavon’s XI at Highclere, but his memories of that day revolve around meeting the Queen.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had spent a few hours watching the game from a marquee and Rhodes tended to stand out whenever he was in the field – a real livewire in terms of his dazzling fielding skills, but also constantly cajoling his team-mates with handclaps and shouts of encouragement.

During the lunch break, the teams were lined up and introduced to Her Majesty and she showed how keen an observer she had been as she stopped and asked Rhodes “Are you the one making all the noise?” with an amused glint in her eye.

“Yes Ma’m, I’ve got to keep the old guys moving,” Rhodes replied, drawing a smile and a nod from the Queen before she moved on down the line.

As one would probably expect, Australian cricket teams have had rather more uncouth interactions with Her Majesty, with Dennis Lillee asking for her autograph and Rodney Hogg commenting on her attractive legs. She later sent Lillee a signed photograph of the incident and he says the photo still has pride of place in his office, while Elizabeth II apparently had a warm friendship with the late Shane Warne, who also passed away this year.

She would also routinely hand out the silverware at the Wembley football stadium, most notably when England won their only soccer World Cup, in 1966.

Prince Harry, fresh from celebrating the birth of his second child, Lilibet, in June, is known for his love of rugby. The Springboks are perhaps his ‘second team’ and his celebrations after their 2019 World Cup win, including a conversation with scrumhalf Faf de Klerk who was wearing just his famous Springbok flag underpants, gave rise to many hilarious memes.

When one thinks of the Royal Family and sport, however, the obvious main connection is with horse racing. Queen Elizabeth II has been described as the sport’s “greatest supporter”. Her royal meeting at Ascot is one of the most famous equestrian events in the world and, as an owner of thoroughbreds, she enjoyed several big wins there.

Both Nicky Henderson and Sir Michael Stoute, who trained the Queen’s horses, mentioned her thorough knowledge of all things equestrian in their warm tributes.

Her daughter, Princess Anne, rode in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and her daughter, Zara Tindall, wife of former England rugby star Mike, won a silver medal with the Great Britain equestrian eventing team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Stubbs passing his exam only positive for Proteas 0

Posted on September 06, 2022 by Ken

Tristan Stubbs passing his exam with flying colours in his first innings for the Proteas was about the only positive for South Africa as they were hammered by 41 runs by England in the first T20 in Bristol on Wednesday night.

The Proteas, thanks to gifting England’s batsmen half-a-dozen lives in the field and the lack of a sixth bowler, were chasing an unlikely 235 for victory, but Stubbs provided some cheer as he announced himself on the international stage with a great innings of 72 off just 28 balls, lifting South Africa to 193/8.

The quality of Stubbs’s ball-striking was phenomenal as he clobbered eight sixes, but as impressive was his temperament and shot-selection, each of his boundaries being thought out in advance and clinically executed. While the 21-year-old was playing his third match for the Proteas, it was his debut innings and what an impression he made, needing just 19 balls to reach his half-century. Seldon has a player made such an impact in so quick a time.

South Africa went into the match with almost a second-string outfit, resting Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen and Anrich Nortje after the ODIs, while Temba Bavuma is also out injured.

The omission of Markram was particularly strange as it left the Proteas with only five bowlers. England took full advantage as an out-of-sorts Tabraiz Shamsi and Andile Phehlukwayo were smashed for 112 runs in their seven overs.

In contrast, Lungi Ngidi (5-39), Kagiso Rabada (4-0-30-0) and Keshav Maharaj (4-0-31-0) were outstanding.

Dawid Malan set the tone with 43 off 23 balls, and Moeen Ali produced a phenomenal cameo of 52 off 18 deliveries, but the star of the show was Jonny Bairstow, very much the flavour of the summer in England.

Although he was dropped five times, Bairstow’s 90 off 53 balls was a mighty, matchwinning effort.

The Proteas were obviously shellshocked and the loss of both Quinton de Kock (2) and Rilee Rossouw (4) in the second over, bowled by Reece Topley, was surely the end of their chances.

Reeza Hendricks was the most free-scoring of the top-order, thumbing his nose at those critics of his strike-rate with a brilliant 57 off 33 balls.

But the spin of Adil Rashid and Moeen claimed the wickets of Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen (20) and David Miller (8), leaving Stubbs to make the bravest of statements in a losing cause.

Pass The Buck – A sporting area Mbalula excels in 0

Posted on April 30, 2016 by Ken

 

If there’s one area of sport that Fikile Mbalula, the Minister of Razzmatazz and Grand Gestures Without Any Substance, is probably an expert in it would be the art of passing, even if his distribution skills are rather one-dimensional.

Mbalula produced one of the most dramatic Passing The Buck moves ever seen in South African sport this week; sadly his distribution skills are strictly limited to dishing out blame rather than what he should be providing, which is governmental impetus to efforts to provide greater opportunities for the disadvantaged.

We must never forget that Mbalula is at heart a politician, not a sports lover, but even by those low standards his actions this week have been extremely cynical. If Richie McCaw had done something as cynical in the All Blacks’ 22, even a New Zealand referee would have yellow-carded him.

I want to make it clear that I fully support transformation and a sport like rugby clearly still has a long way to go if the Springboks are to field a team that is even close to being fully representative of the nation. Cricket have tried exceptionally hard in terms of transformation but have also made some blunders.

I also agree that just continually warning slow-moving sports administered by dinosaurs is not the way to go.

But the kind of mass social engineering that Mbalula is wanting – teams that are just 9% White – can only be achieved by government.

Last year, when the Springboks and Proteas were involved in world cups, Mbalula was right behind those teams, quite happy to gloss over their obvious failings when it came to transformation, even after their failed campaigns. Perhaps he didn’t want to appear rude for all the VIP treatment rugby and cricket have lavished upon the notorious party animal.

But now the ANC is set to lose many votes in the elections later this year so a grand gesture is needed, something to distract, something to shift the pressure elsewhere, and Mbalula is the master of that.

After Mbalula agreed to become the sports minister, allegedly at the behest of the Guptas, in 2010, he said all the right things about how he was going to make sure transformation was focused at grassroots level and how national teams were the wrong place to intervene.

I liked and supported Mbalula for the first couple of years, until I started wondering “When is he actually going to do any of this great stuff he’s promising?” however entertaining his often baffling press conferences were.

As some of my Black colleagues in the media have pointed out, Mbalula has failed to produce one meaningful transformation project in the six years he’s been in office. His tenure will be remembered for grandiose speeches, his fawning over Floyd Mayweather and Beyonce, and the millions he has spent on dismal awards banquets. By one calculation, he spent four times the Olympics budget for the South African team.

The current situation in which our predominantly White sports only choose their Black African players from a few select schools is not going to change unless government is willing to commit the millions of rands that sports bodies don’t have into building facilities in the townships, never mind rural areas.

If you are going to bring a sport to the masses, then the facilities have to be there to match the opportunity.

But that would involve actual work and, heaven forbid, Mbalula might have to skip the odd glitzy party with all its selfie opportunities.

Sure, many South African sports deserve censure for their maladministration and slowness to transform, but when is Mbalula going to take responsibility for his utter failure to produce anything worthwhile in his capacity as Minister of Sport?

 

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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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