Have the Proteas improved under new management?

With the conclusion of the England tour it is time to assess if the Proteas have improved under the new management of Graeme Smith as Director of Cricket and Mark Boucher as head coach. They took over at a time when the Proteas were in serious decline after losing five Test matches in a row to Sri Lanka at home (2) and against India (3) away. Also, the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England was a disaster. They certainly took over a Proteas team in crisis. England comfortably won the Test series 3-1 after losing the opening match at SuperSport Park that sparked hope for a quick recovery by the Proteas in Test cricket. This was dashed as England became acclimatised to the quicker South African wickets after their tour of New Zealand where they lost the Test series. There was also talk that some England players were sick during… Continue reading

The boys are OK. The coaches, mmm…

Since the heady heights of the 2014 U.19 World Cup triumph, South Africa has fared badly at the bi-annual event. In the aftermath of their disappointing 2020 campaign (where they finished eighth), a lot of criticism has been levelled at the team.  A number of maladies have been put forward for this:  Bad selections, poor management, players simply not being good enough, poor decision-making in crucial situations.  The list goes on. The selection policies are what they are and have been for a long time.  I also don’t believe that the players were that bad.  Players like Luke Beaufort, Tiaan van Vuuren, Jono Bird, Gerald Coetzee and Bryce Parsons are very good.  The respected former international players Ian Bishop and Tom Moody even said that Coetzee was one of the future stars of the game.  These five players may or may not become international stars, but I confidently predict they… Continue reading

Top provincial players sign with One World of Sport

Three established provincial players recently put pen to paper on long-term management agreements with One World of Sport. Since joining Northern Cape from Free State two seasons ago, Beyers Swanepoel’s game has come on in leaps and bounds.  Swanepoel is a bowling allrounder – right-arm fast bowler and left-hand batsman.  This season in the 3-Day Provincial Cup he has taken the second most wickets (32) at an average of 15.65.  Swanepoel has also scored 309 runs at an average of 61.80, including a career best 188* against KwaZulu-Natal.  He also made his franchise debut for the Knights in January.  Swanepoel was also picked for the Isma-eel Gafieldien has been the mainstay of the Boland batting line-up the last three seasons.  A left-handed batsman blessed with extraordinary powers of concentration, Gafieldien has had a particularly impressive season in the 3-Day Provincial Cup.  He has scored the most centuries so far (three),… Continue reading

South African cricket needs a strong domestic system

Cricket South Africa (CSA) needs a strong domestic system if the Proteas are to be sustainable and compete at international level. CSA and the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) have been at loggerheads since CSA announced that a new provincial system of twelve teams will replace the existing franchise and provincial system. SACA have sued CSA for this decision as they believe they have not been consulted as prescribed between the two parties in the current Memorandum of Understanding. A court date has been set for the end of February 2020. With CSA now under new leadership after the appointment of Jacques Faul as Acting Chief Executive Officer and Graeme Smith as Director of Cricket, we could see the situation defused and litigation avoided. Both are cricketing people and have a better understanding of the needs for South African cricket, rather than satisfying a political agenda. It is crucial for… Continue reading

Vernon Philander was peerless!

After 64 Test matches, Vernon Philander this week bid farewell to international cricket. Naturally a lot of Vernon’s career records and statistics have been dished up lately. Just remember this one and savour it for a moment: Of all the bowlers who have played Test cricket since Vernon made his debut in November 2011 and have taken more than 150 wickets, no one has a better average – 22.32. In his era Vernon Philander was peerless! One World of Sport is proud and privileged to have been part of Vernon’s journey every step of the way. We wish you and your family everything of the very best for the future! Continue reading

Do you want to play for the Proteas?

The recruitment of new cricketers is an integral part of the business of One World of Sport.  It is something we have to work on continuously because, as with any business, we need to find ways to grow and expand.  A natural consequence of the recruitment process is that we get to meet new people on a regular basis. In broad terms recruitment is done from two pools of players:  Established cricketers (those who have played at least a few first-class games) and young cricketers (under 20 years old with no experience of first-class cricket).  An established cricketer would be recruited because he has already displayed an ability to play professional cricket.  But a young cricketer is recruited purely on potential. Because it is a leap into the unknown, the recruitment of young players is in many ways a more exciting process.  You meet people from very different backgrounds holding… Continue reading

South African cricket under siege

The Proteas find themselves in a very difficult period since the end of last season when they beat Pakistan in all three formats. Even then there were signs that there were problems ahead. Since then they exited the 2019 Cricket World Cup without really competing and have lost seven of the last eight Test matches that they have played. This includes losing to Sri Lanka, who was the first sub-continent team to win a series in South Africa. The margins of these defeats are concerning; three have been by an innings and most of the others by big margins. They managed to break the losing streak against England at SuperSport Park in December, but have since lost the last two Tests by large margins. One can’t help but feel that England only lost the first Test because of sickness in the team and acclimatising to the conditions in South Africa… Continue reading

Cricket overload!

In 2020 there are now officially four formats of white-ball cricket: 50 overs, 20 overs, 10 overs and 100 balls. 50-over (or List A) cricket stands on its own; in many ways closer to first-class than T20 cricket.  Because of pressure from television stations for made-for-TV cricket, the proliferation of formats is happening around short-format cricket.  (For the sake of convenience I’ll use “short-format” as a collective noun for 20 overs, 10 overs and 100 balls.) Any new short-format league firstly has to be approved by its home board and then by the International Cricket Council (ICC).  For the period January 2019 to March 2020, the ICC received from its 92 Associate Members no fewer than 25 applications for new short-format tournaments!  There are also the established short-format leagues hosted annually by the 12 Full Members, such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Australian Big Bash League (BBL), the… Continue reading

Mzansi Super League has a place in South African cricket

The second edition of the Mzansi Super League (MSL) has just been completed and from a cricketing point of view it was a success. The quality of event and cricket was endorsed by the Australians Ben Dunk and Dan Christian who are well travelled T20 cricketers. Only the Jozi Stars disappointed and never won a match under new coach Donovan Miller. For the rest, all five could still qualify for the playoffs in the last two rounds. The MSL provided very good opportunities and experience for South African cricketers. The problem remains the financial sustainability of the MSL as the projected loss will once again run into millions of rands. The major problem is that the SABC was again awarded the rights to broadcast the tournament. It is common knowledge that the SABC does not have the funds, like the pay channel SuperSport, to secure the rights at the market… Continue reading

“Krieket is onse game in die somer”

My parents live in a small village up the West Coast, Aurora.  It is on Google Maps, I promise. It is just off the N7, about 170 km from Cape Town.  The nearest place with a hospital and Woolworths, Vredenburg, is half an hour away.  There are 112 houses in Aurora (I know this for a fact because my daughter recently did a geography assignment on the town) and the permanent populations is just over 1,000. Lying in the foothills of the Cederberg mountains, Aurora is postcard pretty.  It is a meeting place for local farmers but otherwise the town is unremarkable.  In summer it can get hot, but the locals regard 40°C as mild. On such a “mild” Saturday afternoon my mom asked me and my dad to drop off a basket of freshly baked beskuit at tant Maria in Rietvlak.  Rietvlak is a remnant of apartheid, the corner… Continue reading