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Ken Borland

Proteas not close to resolving who should be Test captain 0

Posted on February 16, 2021 by Ken

The Proteas don’t seem to be close to resolving who their Test captain should be, which certainly seems to be negatively impacting the performance of the struggling outfit, but I guess knowing who definitely shouldn’t be the skipper is a step in the right direction though.

Sadly for one of South African cricket’s favourite sons, Quinton de Kock has produced a pretty open-and-shut case for why he should not be captain as he has scored just 74 runs in six innings at an average of only 12.33 since taking the reins. A struggling batting line-up that had become used to De Kock bailing them out really cannot afford the flow of runs from his dashing blade to be stopped like that.

The 28-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman is just too valuable to not have playing well and whatever is hindering him from producing his usual world-class performances needs to be removed from his burden.

There is no shame in him standing down: He took on the job with some reluctance but out of a sense of duty as a senior player in a rebuilding side. For me, there are parallels with the great Hashim Amla, who relinquished the captaincy in January 2016 because he felt the team would be better served by him focusing on his batting.

In his press conferences, De Kock certainly does not seem to be enjoying the captaincy (although bubble life is probably also not making him happy) and personality-wise he is never going to be the sort of skipper who inspires through rousing speeches and being demonstrative out on the field. Sometimes his head doesn’t even seem to be in the game, such is his laidback demeanour.

So who are they going to appoint as the new Test captain? ‘When are the Proteas going to be playing Test cricket again?’ is probably the question that needs to be answered first though. As things stand, there are no confirmed Tests for the rest of the year.

But it seems obvious the new leader is going to come from one of three, maybe four, candidates – Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Dean Elgar or Rassie van der Dussen.

Whoever gets the job, they are going to need to bring new energy, intensity and fight to the team. The kind of enthusiasm that the new-look T20 side showed at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, even though they made mistakes and ended up losing to the home side by three runs.

The answer to the old question about whether leaders are born or made is pretty clear to me: sure, the leadership skills of someone can be improved by the right programs and mentors, but the innate ability to lead is either there or it is not. The best captains are those who truly enjoy and embrace the role, and the troops respond to the assuredness that is projected. The team will have direction.

Who is the captain-elect who has the loyalty of the whole team? Who is ready for the burden and will flourish under it, lifting the team’s performances at the same time?

Is it Markram, who has been groomed and anointed as the future skipper ever since he led the SA U19s to the World Cup title? The determination of the 26-year-old is clear as the runs have mercifully started flowing again after a tough couple of years.

Or is it Bavuma, the talisman of the team is so many ways and the face of the hopes of millions of cricket fans? The tenacity and energy he shows can only be inspirational.

What of Elgar, the senior statesman, the reliable one, the guy who constantly puts his body on the line on the field and is one of the biggest characters in the changeroom?

Or Van der Dussen, the relatively new face, still making his way in Test cricket but who exudes the sort of calm and composure that is also vital in the make-up of a leader?

We wait with bated breath for whoever the successor is going to be. They will carry our hopes as the Proteas try and re-establish themselves as a world power, it is going to be a very tough job with so many external challenges, and whoever gets the captaincy is going to need the support of the whole country.

But South Africa has a proud cricketing heritage that needs to be restored by this man, whoever it ends up being.

From having to convince her Mom to cricket superstar: the journey of Marizanne Kapp 0

Posted on February 13, 2019 by Ken

When Marizanne Kapp mooted the idea of becoming a professional cricketer to her mother, her greatest supporter, it did not go down well. But remembering it was the previous decade and Cricket South Africa contracts and having their matches televised was still a long way off for our top women’s players, this should not be a surprise.

Mother Nereda Lamprecht had earlier been the one to approach the principal of Hoerskool DF Malherbe to convince him to allow her 13-year-old daughter to play boys cricket at the Port Elizabeth school. The immense talent was obvious, but ensuring Kapp had the platform to reach her potential was another matter.

“To be able to play cricket for a living, that’s my biggest dream come true. My mother was so upset when I told her I wanted to be a professional cricketer, she said no, I must get a proper job. Well now I can take her anywhere in the world she wants to go and pay for her, so I guess it worked out in the end.

“I was a bit of a tomboy growing up and I wanted to do anything the boys were doing. My cousins used to play cricket in the streets, so I started playing with them and then I graduated to indoor cricket. Then my mother went to the principal and asked if I could join the boys team. I did everything at school and I got provincial colours for swimming, biathlon, cross-country and netball, but it was cricket that really stuck,” Kapp, who has a degree in sports management and is studying for another one in human resources, told Saturday Citizen.

Chosen by South Africa for the first time in March 2009, Kapp was still a teenager when she was given a baptism of fire by hosts Australia in the World Cup. But she has grown into one of the best all-rounders in world cricket, chosen by the International Cricket Council for their 2017 ODI team of the year and headhunted by the Sydney Sixers for the inaugural Big Bash in 2015. That’s the most lucrative event for women’s cricketers, their version of the IPL, and the Sixers have been the most successful team, winning the title twice and being runners-up in the other two seasons.

There is no question that the Proteas Women have been helped into the upper echelons of the world game by the arrival of the tremendously athletic Kapp. She forms a formidable new-ball partnership with Shabnim Ismail, rated by many as the best in the world, while she is good enough with the bat to play in the top-order and she has scored South Africa’s only World Cup century.

A feisty character on the field, Kapp may seem a bit shy and withdrawn in the public eye when not playing cricket. But she is clearly the type of person you can go to war with and is hard on herself. She is especially eager to contribute more with the bat.

“I really want to do a bit more with the bat, I’ve been playing for the Proteas for quite a while now and the seniors need to put up their hands and take the load. The bowling is still our team’s big strength, but the batting has to improve. Batting at number three, I’d like to end more games.

“The bowling just comes more naturally for me and in ODIs you’re normally bowling first and batting second. Which is why my batting took a bit of a knock, but I want to get into it more and it’s something I can work on. I’m just waiting for the chance now because we’re playing matches every second day at the moment, whereas in the past we had a few more rest days,” Kapp says.

The Proteas, having whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in their T20 series, now take on the tourists in three ODIs in Potchefstroom next week and if Kapp plays in them all, she will be tantalisingly poised on 99 ODI caps.

Her wife, Dane van Niekerk, is the national captain and will probably get to the 100th game milestone first as she already has 98 caps. They will join Mignon du Preez and Trisha Chetty as the only centurions.

The corridors of Cricket South Africa  can be a rabbit warren of political intrigue, but one thing they are clearly getting right is stabilising and growing the women’s game. Kapp is very appreciative of their efforts and, once her playing days are over (which will hopefully only be in a long while because she is only 29), she is determined to continue working towards the progress of South African women’s cricket.

“It’s tough but there are very good signs which show how serious CSA are in taking the women’s game forward. I wold like to give back when I’m done playing, to contribute to women’s cricket here becoming like it is in Australia,” Kapp said.

Critics going to town but Domingo not going anywhere 0

Posted on April 07, 2016 by Ken


All the critics are going to town on Russell Domingo following yet another Proteas failure at a world cup, but the coach himself is defiant that he should not be drummed out of his position at the helm of South Africa’s cricket team.

“I wouldn’t say our form has been bad for 18 months, it’s just the last four or five months, since the India Tests. The ODIs against India were good and the ODIs and T20s against England were good.

“We just did not play the big moments well enough. But my opinion is that our preparation was outstanding, spot on, I can assure you everyone worked extremely hard, we were meticulous in our planning and strategising. It’s part of my job, absolutely, to try and make it happen, to make it all come together, and my impression is that the team does buy into my approach.

“Of course I want to continue in my job and I will just work hard and try and get the best out of the players. I have a good relationship with them and in my opinion our management team is as good as anything in the world,” Domingo said.

South Africa’s premature exit at the ICC World T20 is now the subject of a Cricket South Africa review and CEO Haroon Lorgat, who has previously been a solid backer of Domingo, stopped short of giving him unqualified support. Six months ago, Domingo received a contract extension through to the end of April next year from CSA.

Whether CSA will be satisfied with Domingo eking out results until then remains to be seen, but the man in the firing line does not feel he should go.

“The margins in international cricket are very small and there’s just a tiny difference in making the semi-finals or not. Look at India getting out of jail against Bangladesh. There will always be questions after you fall out of an event like that, but small things just didn’t go for us,” Domingo said.

Southern Kings not to be underestimated after Rassie consulting – Gold 0

Posted on February 25, 2016 by Ken


The Sharks may have enjoyed an impressive pre-season tour to France while the Southern Kings, their opening opponents in SuperRugby this weekend, endured shambolic preparation, but the KwaZulu-Natal side’s director of rugby, Gary Gold, has warned that the Eastern Cape team should not be taken for granted, especially with Rassie Erasmus consulting for them.

Erasmus and his mobi-unit of top specialists were in Port Elizabeth in January to help Kings coach Deon Davids fast-track their preparations and the word from their camp is that they feel ready to compete. The Sharks will be the first team to test that readiness and Gold said they would be cautious.

“It’s exactly the same situation we had with the Cheetahs last year in our first game, so we do not take the Southern Kings lightly as a team. Deon Davids is a good coach and he would have got great help from Rassie and the mobi-unit. And they’ll be desperate to prove their detractors wrong.

“We have to make sure we don’t slip up like we did against the Cheetahs last year. We’re just trying to stay away from expectations and focus on what we do well. The two games in France have shown us how far we’ve come in certain areas. We had a very clear strategy in our pre-season in terms of how we prepared: We really put time and energy into four or five areas which we hope will have the most effect on the game,” Gold told The Citizen.

The Sharks beat Toulon 29-21 and Toulouse 31-17, but Gold said the results were only of secondary importance to how they played and he was very satisfied with their performance. With the time now available before their first SuperRugby game on Saturday, they will brush up on the areas that have not received as much attention.

“It’s not about the results but the performance and I was very satisfied with the things we worked on, we got reward for those, we’ll bank those, but now it’s time to sharpen the pencil. It’s now time to focus on other areas and we know that if we don’t put time and energy into those then we’ll come a cropper, so those areas will develop.

“We scored five tries and three tries in the two games, so I’m happy with that. Toulon could only score through driving mauls against us, three times, but we hadn’t worked on that yet.

“People ask how we want to play, well, first and foremost we want to win and the foundation for winning is a solid defence. That’s one of the areas where I feel we’ve made good progress, it was a helluva lot more consistent. Defence is where a team shows its camaraderie, whether they’re willing to fight for each other. As a coaching staff, we’re very excited because we’ve put our faith in this young group and they’ve repaid us,” Gold said.



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    Don’t be so busy – even working for God – that you don’t have regular quiet time. Don’t let your activities become more important than your time with the Father. You can be alive ‘for’ God without experiencing the presence and power of the living Christ.

    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

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