Cricket anarchy reaches new levels

The West Indies’ walkout of the recent tour of India has propelled the vulnerability and anarchy of cricket to a new level. This is the first time in the history of the game that a tour has been curtailed by the players. In the past tours have been cancelled or curtailed for political and security reasons by the governing bodies but never before by the players. Is this the first signs that player power is starting to dominate the game with serious consequences for its profile, future and commercial stability? If the players can walk out of a tour of India then it can happen to any country in world cricket. India is the commercial juggernaut that holds world cricket together financially. If player power continues it will have serious ramifications for the controlling bodies of the cricketing nations. We have seen that the Board of Control for Cricket in … Continue reading

Time off for Van Dyk

After a hectic last two years on the global marathon circuit, Ernst van Dyk says it’s time to put his feet up and enjoy a break. Van Dyk took second place in the men’s wheelchair race at the New York Marathon on Sunday, narrowly missing out on a second career victory in the Big Apple: “This was my eighth podium finish in 24 months in major marathons.  I would have liked to end the year on a high with a win, but it’s been an amazing year and I need some down time now to recover and rebuild.” The 41-year-old South African was dropped by the lead group with 15km remaining in the 42km race, slipping to seventh position as he struggled to maintain the pace in windy conditions. But Van Dyk dug deep and, using all his experience from riding in windy conditions in the Argus year after year, … Continue reading

Russell, Kieswetter to play in RamSlam T20

One World of Sport, in collaboration with the London-based cricket agency Essentially, has been instrumental in securing the services of international T20 stars Andre Russell and Craig Kieswetter for the Knights and Warriors respectively. West Indian Russell will join the Knights squad today after his flight from Jamaica was delayed in America. The 26-year old is a right-hand batsman and right-arm fast bowler.  He is one of the most dynamic T20 players in the world. Russell has been particularly instrumental in the recent success of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. He has played 38 ODI’s and 30 T20’s for the Windies and was a key member of their champion World T20 side in 2013. Kieswetter, who was already in Cape Town visiting family, joined up with the Warriors squad in Port Elizabeth earlier this week to prepare for this weekend’s launch of the RamSlam T20 series at the … Continue reading

When a sponsorship becomes golden handcuffs

Cricket is an expensive sport. A cricket equipment manufacturer typically budgets between R15,000 to R20,000 per year for an equipment sponsorship for an individual player.  (You can roughly double that number to get to the retail value of the equipment.)  An equipment sponsorship contract is a sought-after commodity.  When a young cricketer at the cusp of his career is offered an equipment sponsorship, he accepts it without asking too many questions. However, before the contract has run its course, the contract terms and reality often become irreconcilable. The following is a familiar sponsorship:  The young professional cricketer is a much better player now than when his equipment sponsorship contract was signed 18 months ago and as a result he is completely under-rewarded.  The sponsorship contract has become golden handcuffs.  What can the player do? He could ask the sponsor for a new deal, but tactically and practically it is not … Continue reading

The RAM SLAM T20 needs a better profile

The South African Ram Slam T20 starts next week when all six franchise teams will participate in the launch at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. This is along the lines of the Discovery Knockout Challenge of years gone by that was the start of T20 cricket and the Finals Day in England. South Africa is the best Test team in world cricket and has made a big contribution to the global game including pioneering the T20 format. Unfortunately, the current Ram Slam T20’s profile in world cricket does not do justice to the history and success of the South African game. The IPL will always have the highest profile and be the richest T20 competition in the world. However, South Africa with Australia need to be the next best T20 competitions in world cricket. At the moment the Caribbean Premier League is also ahead of South Africa and that is … Continue reading

Will the Proteas finally triumph?

More than 20 years since South Africa’s re-admission into international cricket it still remains a mystery why the country has failed so miserably at cricket’s biggest showpiece, the World Cup. In little more than three months, the Proteas will for the seventh time embark on a World Cup campaign, hoping to achieve what no other South African team has come close to achieving. The eleventh edition of the Cricket World Cup takes place in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March 2015. In the build-up the South Africans appear to have done at least two things right. Firstly, since the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE in October/November last year, the Proteas’ ODI team selections have been consistent.  Apart from the odd combinations tweaking here and there and a few minor injuries, the core of the team has stayed the same.  It looks like the players … Continue reading

Is there a place for Champions’ League T20?

The Champions’ League T20 has been completed in India and once again the question arises does it warrant a place on the international schedule or is it congesting an already over loaded schedule? The CLT20 does create an opportunity for the domestic teams and players around the world to play in an international tournament. It also brings rich financial rewards to franchises and players who make it to India. However, it remains an Indian dominated competition with three Indian teams being guaranteed a place and a fourth team playing in the qualifiers. The aim is to have four Indian teams participating as the Indian market is the driver. It has been developed solely for Indian purposes and nothing else. The composition of the teams is heavily weighted in the favour of the Indians teams. They have access to all their foreign players of which four can be on the field, … Continue reading

Champions League curse continues

At the time of writing, the sixth edition of the IPL’s off-shoot, the Champions League T20 (CLT20), was into its knockout stage and again no South African team was there. The 2014 South African representatives, the Cobras and the Dolphins, continued the country’s atrocious CLT20 record by failing to get past the group stage.  In fact, they put up the worst performance ever by South African teams in the history of the competition – neither team won a single match! South Africa has always had two teams in the CLT20.  Because of our stake in the IPL, our teams do not have to qualify and go directly into the group stage.  At this stage each team plays four matches.  In total, South African teams have played 48 matches at the group stage of the CLT20.  The record reads as follows: • 2009]  Cobras:  won 3, lost 1. Knights:  won 2, lost … Continue reading

A decade of franchise cricket

It is now ten years since Cricket South Africa scrapped the provincial system and replaced it with the six franchise teams. The restructuring was a brave decision after the provincial system had served South African cricket so well for over a hundred years. Looking back after this period, has the franchise system served South African cricket as well as expected? With regards to producing players for the national team the franchise system has been a success. The Proteas have enjoyed a period of relative dominance in the Test arena and are currently the number one ranked Test team in world cricket. This is a position they have now occupied for a few years. Also, they enjoyed historic series’ wins in Australia and England on two occasions each. They have achieved more success than any other Test team in South Africa’s history. However, there is a school of thought that this … Continue reading

Kleinveldt signs with Gunn & Moore

Proteas fast bowler, Rory Kleinveldt, has signed a sponsorship agreement with Gunn & Moore. In terms of the agreement, Kleinveldt will use the famous English batmaker’s equipment until 2016 in all competitions worldwide.  Kleinveldt, who recently recovered from a knee injury that forced him out of contention for the Proteas’ tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe during the winter, is currently with his South African franchise team, the Cobras, in India for the Champions’ League.  He will play with Gunn & Moore kit for the first time during the tournament.