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Ken Borland

Proteas leave for India relieved that CSA office politics have ended 0

Posted on July 04, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas leave for India and their five-match T20 series on Wednesday morning relieved that Cricket South Africa’s office politics, which threatened the careers of their coach and former director of cricket, have now seemingly come to an end, according to captain Temba Bavuma.

Proteas head coach Mark Boucher’s position was under immense scrutiny as he was accused of racist conduct, while director of cricket Graeme Smith faced the same charges. An independent tribunal cleared Smith and CSA then withdrew their charges against Boucher, admitting there was no evidence to support their case.

Bavuma said he hoped the off-field saga that had raged above their heads was done and dusted.

“I think there’s a lot of relief in the whole cricket fraternity that these off-field issues have been resolved and put to bed,” Bavuma said on Tuesday. “Hopefully we can now focus on what happens on the field.

“We should all invest as much as we can into that now. I think we handled the situation as a team as best we could. We’ve had many conversations over the months to make sure everyone is in the right space.

“We wanted to make sure there were no underlying issues between players or management, and I think those conversations really helped,” Bavuma said.

To add to their contentment, South Africa are going into the series with several players having performed extremely well in the just-completed Indian Premier League. None more so than David Miller, who helped steer the Gujarat Titans to the title in their first season, his exceptional finishing displays seeing him end the tournament with a strike-rate of 142 and an average of 68.

Where Miller is going to bat for the Proteas is going to be an interesting decision for Bavuma and Boucher.

“It’s always good having guys in form and David lifting the IPL trophy means he’ll bring good confidence into the team and it would have done a world of good for his own confidence,” Bavuma said.

“He performed exceedingly well and whatever feelings of insecurity he might have, he has never expressed those type of feelings to me. He’s an integral part of the Proteas team.

“We trust those sort of performances will continue well into the future. There’s always the conversation about him batting for longer, but he understands where he fits in in our team.

“But if he feels he can add more value in a different position then we can have that conversation. There’s no way we would stifle or restrict any of our players, we want to try set up and assist all of them to perform their best,” Bavuma said.

Good things have happened recently as well … 0

Posted on December 19, 2015 by Ken


Some awful things have happened in South Africa over the last 10 days, reflecting themselves in a depressing pall of negativity over a land that seems to have forgotten the miracle of the Rainbow Nation. Even us sports writers, fortunate as we are to pursue a career in something we love, are affected by the politics of the day.

Of course the results of our sporting heroes – and let’s be honest it’s been a poor year for South Africa – do affect us as well, although I always try to remember that it’s only a game. It’s far more important what sport can achieve in terms of bringing people together and changing lives.

So I’m delighted to report some good news in these tough times, a few encouraging things that have happened.

It is not easy to achieve complete transformation and equality because change is usually met with resistance and there is centuries of injustice to correct. It is difficult to come up with the right answers when one is trying to ensure representivity but also endeavouring to maintain standards and also do the right thing by the people you are trying to uplift.

It was most encouraging then to see our Springbok Sevens team triumph in the Cape Town stage of the World Series and do it with a fully transformed side. Following the blows to rugby’s transformation record at the 15-man World Cup, it was a timely reminder that there is plenty of black talent out there, it just needs to be nurtured.

Cricket had its own transformation scandal during their World Cup earlier in the year but it still seemed a low blow when Mark Nicholas, a former English county cricketer now commentating on Australian TV, suggested that South Africa will be the next international team to be “severely threatened” by the same disintegration that has afflicted West Indian cricket.

The financial situation outside of the Big Three is obviously a concern for Cricket South Africa, although it is ironic that the plummeting of the rand probably helps them (due to the sale of television rights in dollars) while it spells grave danger for rugby. But CEO Haroon Lorgat, a qualified chartered accountant, is a forward-thinking man and the organisation is running in a much leaner, efficient fashion than before.

Whatever White South Africans might think, the future of this country’s sport is Black – it’s simple economics and obvious when one considers the population.

The RamSlam T20 Challenge final at Centurion was a top-class evening, boasting great cricket, a sell-out crowd – one of the best I’ve seen for a domestic match since the days of isolation – and even the hero of the game was a Black player – Mangaliso Mosehle.

For me, the final offered a glimpse of what the future of South African cricket could be – and it took a lot of effort on the part of Cricket South Africa, the Titans and their marketing partners.

A thoroughly New South Africa crowd was entertained by Black Coffee and Euphonik; whereas Steve Hofmeyr would have been favoured by previous administrations.

I can only presume that Nicholas has been spending too much time with some of the expats in Australia who are notorious for broadcasting their opinion that everything is a nightmare in South Africa.

The day after the final, I spent the morning at Killarney Country Club where their Mandela Day fundraising is being put to good use coaching traumatised children in golf and tennis as part of their therapy. The sheer joy of the children and how apparent it was that they loved what they are doing, once again showed how much opportunity there is for sports bodies to tap into the raw talent that is there and hungry to be found.

The RamSlam T20 Challenge final,the Springbok Sevens’ success and the kids at Killarney Country Club showed what can be built when there is a will to be inclusive and a desire to spread the game and utilise the talent present in all communities.




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