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Ken Borland

Jansen says he’s in Neil Mac’s debt for helping with the mental side of batting 0

Posted on April 01, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s Marco Jansen not only removed two key New Zealand batsmen with the ball but also made a career-best, momentum-shifting 37 not out with the bat on the second day of the second Test in Christchurch on Saturday, and then said he was in debt to former Proteas batsman Neil McKenzie for helping him with the mental side of batting.

The 21-year-old Jansen has long been considered to have enough ability with the bat to perhaps become a bowling all-rounder, and he certainly did justice to his talent on Saturday as he came in at 277/6 and helped South Africa to a sizeable 364 all out.

They looked like falling well short of that, though, when they slumped to 302/8, before Jansen and Keshav Maharaj (36) belted 62 off 79 deliveries. A fine day for Jansen was then completed with the wickets of Devon Conway (16) and Henry Nicholls (39).

“When I was chosen for the  SA A squad last year, I was fortunate to work with Neil McKenzie [CSA high performance batting lead]. He helped me a lot with the strategic side of batting,” Jansen said.

“It’s all about game-plans and there’s more focus on how I approach my batting mentally. I still work a lot with our Proteas batting coach Justin Sammons as well, we are tweaking my technique, trying to tighten it up a bit.

“Kesh and I decided while we were batting that we would take the positive option. Not be reckless, but if the ball was in our area then we would have a full go.

“You know that the bowlers are going to bowl short at some stage and then you have a choice: To take it on or stand back. I don’t want to ever say I did not give it my all, so I always give a bit more in those situations,” Jansen said.

Growing up with a twin brother, Duan, who is also a talented cricketer, playing for North-West in a similar bowler-who-can-bat role, helped finance a tremendous competitive fire in Marco Jansen. He has given as good as he has received in feisty exchanges already with Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and with fiery Black Caps paceman Neil Wagner on Saturday.

“My brother and I are very competitive when it’s anything to do with sport,” Jansen said. “Whenever there’s a bit of an edge to the contest, then I try to always bring that bit extra, I see it as my one opportunity and I give everything.

“It’s a huge honour for me every time I walk on the field with that green cap on, so I just try and grab every opportunity now with both hands. Neil Wagner as always came hard, especially with the short balls.

“A few words were said, but it wasn’t that heated, just two guys being very competitive. I spoke Afrikaans to him and he replied in English … ” Jansen confirmed.

Ramela to put his case at High Court that Interim Board rude & erred in procedure 0

Posted on January 25, 2021 by Ken

Omphile Ramela, the former president of the players’ union who was last month removed as a director of the Cricket South Africa Interim Board, has lodged an application in the High Court challenging his removal based on the alleged rude conduct of the board and an accusation that they have erred in terms of procedure.

The board resolved on December 15 to remove Ramela for being “derelict in performing his functions as a director” and engaging in “destructive practices”, related to his alleged refusal to accept majority decisions and subsequent leaks of board discussions to the media. Ramela was given the opportunity to put his case before the board, but failed to attend the meeting.

Ramela then announced on Tuesday evening on social media that he will challenge his dismissal in court.

“I have lodged an application against CSA with the High Court. While the application deals with my removal, the premise of this application speaks to the conduct of this board as far [sic] the principle of law and order is concerned. … Given that my concerns speak to the principle of its conduct in matters of law and procedure, the court is the best place that can ventilate this matter and see it to its logical conclusion.

“The directors of this board serve in leadership structures of society. If its conduct is questionable in law and procedure then we as a country and the game of cricket have a much bigger problem. My major concern is the game. I could have easily walked away from this, but I think I’ve got a responsibility as someone who’s been in the game to stand for the truth,” Ramela posted on Twitter.

Ramela went on to say that he will demonstrate at the High Court that the CSA interim board have not acted with the interests of the game at heart, especially in terms of transformation.

“The decisions I’m contesting speaks to the motive of this conduct. This board has not done anything to advance the game and enhance transformation on and off the field of play. Instead it has done the total opposite to a point of regressing any transformation gains and governance. This then begs the question, whose interest are they serving?

“Hopefully this court process will help pierce that veil and reveal the source of our problems in cricket. The game has served me as a player and it has created opportunities for me. So if there is a case I can make that the interests of the game are not being protected at the moment I will put that out there. I believe that this application to the High Court will demonstrate that,” Ramela said.

The interim board issued a statement on Wednesday saying Ramela’s application is without substance and they will oppose it in court.

Previously suspended Ramela now officially removed as CSA director 0

Posted on December 17, 2020 by Ken

The previously suspended Omphile Ramela was officially removed as a director of the interim board of Cricket South Africa on Tuesday, the organisation announced in a statement.

Ramela is the previous president of the South African Cricketers Association and was one of the players association’s nominees for the board.

Judge Zak Yacoob, the chairman of the interim board, said last week that the rest of the directors had resolved to have Ramela removed from the board due to him being “generally obstructive in board matters”.

“He refuses to accept the majority decision if he does not feel it’s right and feels he needs to continue to fight. He does not have the discipline to accept a majority decision and is virtually impossible to deal with,” Yacoob said of Ramela last week. The former Cape Cobras and Highveld Lions batsman has apparently taken up the cudgels on behalf of suspended Company Secretary Welsh Gwaza, which is a very surprising turn of events in itself because Gwaza, along with former CEO Thabang Moroe spearheaded CSA’s efforts to sideline the players association, targeting Ramela personally in the process.

Ramela was notified of Tuesday’s meeting last week and given the opportunity to be present, with an attorney, to respond to the allegations against him.

But the 32-year-old did not respond to his notice, or to follow-up e-mails and WhatsApps, according to the interim board’s statement.

So the five remaining directors who were present – Haroon Lorgat is in Dubai and Stavros Nicolaou was also unable to attend – voted on the resolution to remove Ramela. Andre Odendaal abstained, but the other four directors voted in favour of the resolution.

“We are disappointed by what has transpired but we respect the fact that the board must do its work, they have a job to do. We will not engage the interim board unless they formally engage with us, which they have done on other issues, because we believe in their independence,” Andrew Breetzke, the CEO of SACA, told The Citizen.

Quotas are the fees CSA must pay for political support 0

Posted on April 14, 2017 by Ken


One way of thinking of quotas is as the fees sports bodies must pay to the minister of sport for political support, so the great news that Fikile Mbalula and his circus have been removed from sport creates a new dynamic.

Of course, rational sports fans and true patriots will be treating the appointment of Thulas Nxesi as the new minister of sport with some caution. Judging by his obfuscation of the Nkandla issue during his previous role as minister of public works, he seems to struggle with figures and the quota calculations used in cricket might be a challenge for him.

Ironically, Cricket South Africa actually presented a report on their transformation successes to parliament’s sports portfolio committee this week and they managed to meet their targets with a bit of wriggle room.

Over the last international season, the Proteas were meant to provide 161 playing opportunities for players of colour and 54 for Black Africans, and they have surpassed those quotas by a percentage point or two.

So the system seems to be working at international level and has been met with approval by coach Russell Domingo and the players, who are probably most grateful for the fact that they now know exactly where they stand.

But our domestic cricket is also vital as the feeder to the Proteas and the different system of quotas used here has certainly detracted from the quality of fare on offer. Not so much in terms of the players not being good enough to play at that level, but rather because of the imbalances caused by having a hard-and-fast rule of five Whites and six players of colour, three of which must be Black Africans.

The Momentum One-Day Cup final was played in Centurion on Friday between the Titans and the Warriors, an exact repeat of the CSA T20 Challenge final.

In the T20 final, the Warriors were unable to play their leading wicket-taker, Andrew Birch, because the quota and the need to balance the side dictated that either he or Kyle Abbott would play, but not both. Similarly, the Titans went into the 50-over final without two of their key players – leg-spinner Shaun von Berg, their most successful bowler, and all-rounder David Wiese, an international and potent force in limited-overs cricket. That’s due to the return from Proteas duty of Tabraiz Shamsi and Chris Morris.

To prevent these occurences, which clearly detract from the occasion of a final and bring the whole system into disrepute, why are the franchises not allowed a package deal just like the Proteas? Why can’t their transformation successes be measured as a total figure at the end of the season? Then playing their best team in a final is possible, as long as they have concentrated on ensuring they are ahead of the transformation curve in the regular season.

It’s funny how quickly solutions can be found when money is the issue. Cricket South Africa’s new T20 Global League has a focus on securing foreign investment and the sport’s governing body has realised that team owners are going to want to pick their teams strictly on merit, or else they will take their money elsewhere.

And so it seems there will be no quotas or transformation targets in that competition. Moral principles and the need to redress the past have all suddenly flown out the window because of money. But CSA would certainly be speaking the same language as Mbalula and his successor Nxesi in that regard.

Are our national team or our professional franchises so unimportant that they don’t deserve the same consideration?

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