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Ken Borland

Fired former CEO’s days of working in cricket not over 0

Posted on December 29, 2022 by Ken

Former Cricket South Africa acting chief executive Kugandrie Govender’s days of working in cricket were thought to be over after she was fired from the organisation for dishonesty and incompetence, but now Border Cricket want to appoint her as their new CEO.

Govender, who replaced Jacques Faul as acting CEO in August 2020 following the suspension of Thabang Moroe, was dismissed in July 2021. She was found to have lied in the disciplinary hearing that saw former Protea Clive Eksteen lose his job as CSA’s head of sales and sponsorship. In December 2020, the CCMA ruled that Eksteen had been unfairly dismissed.

Border Cricket’s efforts to shop around for a new CEO after Andile Mxenge was dismissed in June also saw them apparently consider former CSA board member Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw for the post.

But the affiliate’s decision to appoint Govender could not be more embarrassing for their mother body, especially since current board members and former staff are busy testifying against her in the CCMA case she has brought against CSA.

While the evolution of that labour hearing is still ongoing, CSA confirmed to The Citizen that they have expressed their concern to Border Cricket over Govender’s potential appointment.

“CSA has not been formally notified of the appointment of Ms Govender by Border Cricket. However, having become aware that this may occur, we have been in contact with Border Cricket to highlight our concerns that flow from the termination of Ms Govender’s employment with CSA, and in particular the on-going legal process at the CCMA,” Lawson Naidoo, the chairman of the board, said.

Border Cricket president Simphiwe Ndzundzu is a non-independent director on the CSA Board, but is a controversial figure who was being investigated for an alleged assault on two women related to a colleague, the former player and umpire Sinethemba Mjekula, at the time of his election.

Border Cricket did not respond to a request for comment.

Cricket’s direction enough to make you tear your hair out 0

Posted on October 12, 2022 by Ken

For cricket lovers, especially those who value the Test format above all others, the direction in which the sport seems to be heading, judging by the events of the last week, are enough to make you want to tear your hair out.

For many, the fact that the Proteas, who seem on the verge of entering a very exciting era in red-ball cricket, will play just 28 Tests in the next five years is infuriating and bordering on tragic at the same time. When one sees how fabulously Kagiso Rabada is bowling, how promising his fellow pacemen Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen look, as well as spin-king Keshav Maharaj, and one realises they will never get the chance to put up the same sort of numbers as lesser cricketers from England, India or Australia, then it is natural to feel great distress.

And then one seeks someone to blame for the damage they have done to something as loved and cherished as Test cricket.

Which just leads to more frustration because there are a multitude of players who have let down the game – the International Cricket Council, The Big Three, Cricket South Africa, all the different T20 franchise leagues, broadcasters, sponsors, and even us, the fans.

I am confident Test cricket will be played in heaven, where there will be infinite resources, but here on earth the game has to deal with finite amounts of time and money. Test cricket takes up the most time (part of its attraction for me), while T20 generates the most money.

When it comes to money, only The Big Three of India, England and Australia are financially secure and can carry on as normal, although their tendency to hog the calendar and the dollars amongst themselves does no good to the game as a whole, unless they are happy having just three countries playing at the top level.

For the rest, they are being squeezed into an intractable situation where they cannot afford to play bilateral cricket unless it is against one of the above trio, and they are also losing spots on the calendar and their top players to the T20 leagues that are, frankly, becoming an epidemic.

No matter how well the Proteas are doing, we have to realise that, however we try to dress up our cricket, we have become bit-part players in the global game. The fact that only Zimbabwe will play less international cricket over the next five years says it all.

Although the new administration are doing a good job in bringing stability to South African cricket, the failures of the previous boards and executive is now coming back to haunt them. Not only did they leave CSA with empty coffers, but we have little standing at the ICC. South African cricket is seen as insignificant players in the boardroom, their administrators inexperienced in the ruthless environment of the ICC.

One often wonders whether the ICC are there to look after the best interests of all the countries that play the game or are they just there to do the bidding of the three nations that dominate or monopolise the sport. On their own website, they say “the ICC governs and administrates the game and works with our members to grow the sport”.

Is that in just three countries or globally and surely governs implies a leadership role?

While fingers are rightfully pointed at the ICC for their lack of leadership in grappling with these complex issues, we, as fans, also need to look at ourselves.

South Africa’s reduced Test schedule was greeted with outrage and, as CSA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki has said, hopefully that hunger for more long-form cricket will translate into much-improved attendances at the stadiums.

So bring your families and show the powers-that-be and the broadcasters that Test cricket is still a much-loved product.

Recent surveys by Fica, the international body of players’ associations, show that the majority of players still regard Test cricket as the pinnacle.

Let’s all get behind that sentiment.

Klaasen not a regular member of the starting XI, but the self-belief he had is what the Proteas want 0

Posted on July 22, 2022 by Ken

Heinrich Klaasen is not a regular member of the Proteas starting XI, and yet he had the confidence to go out and back himself in his matchwinning innings in the second T20 against India at the weekend. It is that same self-belief that South Africa will want to take into the third match in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, with victory clinching the series for them.

Klaasen, who replaced the injured Quinton de Kock, came in at 29/3 after Bhuvneshwar Kumar had destroyed the top-order on a helpful pitch for seam bowling, and massacred the Indian attack in a superb 81 off 46 balls as the Proteas won by four wickets with 10 balls to spare in Cuttack.

“It was difficult and I struggled up front,” Klaasen said. “But then I decided that if I was going to get out then I would rather go out my way. So I decided to be positive and it was just one of those days when it came off.

“I said to Temba Bavuma that we needed to target the spinners because the seamers were getting up-and-down bounce. It’s a blessing to have this innings at this time of my career,” Klaasen, by no means a certainty for the Proteas T20 squad, said.

The Proteas have now travelled nearly 500km down the eastern Indian coastline to Visakhapatnam and her sweeping beaches on the Bay of Bengal. The Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium was not used in the last IPL and the most recent T20 International there was in February 2019 when Australia chased down 127 off the last ball of the match and with seven wickets down against India. Pacemen Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jasprit Bumrah were the most successful bowlers.

So the pitch for Tuesday’s game could be more like the one in Cuttack than the batting paradise in Delhi for the first game.

Mother Cricket has not turned her smile towards the spinners so far in this series, with another small ground being used on Tuesday, and Proteas captain Bavuma is banking on his pacemen to again stifle the Indian batting.

“It was a good day for us in Cuttack and it started with the bowling, the way we bowled up front was exactly what we wanted,” Bavuma said.

“We want to be ruthless with the new ball, hit those areas and try and get whatever we can out of the pitch. We were able to apply pressure throughout, which happens whenever wickets fall regularly.

“We have a series to win and our focus will be on the achievables we set ourselves in all these games,” Bavuma said.

‘If we want success then we need consistency in selection’ – Elgar 0

Posted on May 09, 2022 by Ken

Proteas captain Dean Elgar said on Thursday that “If we want success then we need consistency in selection” as he indicated that much the same South Africa team will take the field at St George’s Park on Friday for the second Test against Bangladesh.

For the first time since 1970, South Africa played two frontline spinners in a home Test during last week’s thumping win over Bangladesh in the first Test in Durban, and Elgar said he expected conditions to be similar. So Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer look set to both play again and even struggling all-rounder Wiaan Mulder remains in contention for the starting XI.

“If we want success we need consistency in selection and it’s normally a similar sort of pitch here as it is at Kingsmead,” Elgar said. “So I don’t think there will be many changes.

“I like the adaptability of our attack and I would love to have used Wiaan more. But when we saw the conditions, we decided to keep the pressure on with our world-class spinners.

“It might be different here in PE, especially if the ball swings, and then we’re more likely to use Wiaan to showcase his skills. The wind is a massive factor and it hasn’t stopped blowing since we got here.

“If it comes over the scoreboard then the locals call it the ‘Swing Wind’. But the players need to adapt to whatever circumstances come their way and the seamers might have a lot more work in this Test,” Elgar said.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, have apparently lodged a formal complaint with the ICC over the Proteas’ alleged sledging during the first Test, which they say was ignored by the South African umpires.

Elgar, in typically hard-nosed fashion, said the tourists have to harden up to the realities of Test cricket.

“It’s not justified what they said towards the South African side. We do play hard, but we were just giving back what we got. And there was certainly no swearing, we do everything with dignity.

“They need to harden up and play at the Test level of intensity. It’s Test cricket and they must dry their eyes. There’s a lot that’s not seen, there are off-camera incidents as well.

“But we would not intentionally intimidate a young player with language, but with skill. When I started Test cricket, the environment was much harsher than it is now.

“We still want to win though, so if some mind-games can help you with that then why not use them? Maybe Bangladesh got caught up in the moment a bit … ” Elgar said.

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    “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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