Proteas ODI team on the right track

Who would’ve thought that from being 48 for 3 batting first in the first ODI against Australia, the Proteas would go on to complete a 3 – 0 series whitewash? It was a remarkable comeback from a side that has endured a tough time since September last year when they toured India.  Across all the three formats, the Australian series was their seventh of the 2019/20 season.  In the previous six, the Proteas were comprehensively outplayed by India (T20 and Test series), England (Test, ODI and T20 series) and Australia (T20 series). Sandwiched between the losses to India and England were all the off-field politics at Cricket South Africa (CSA) too.  This led to among other things the late announcement of the squad for the first Test against India and the dragging on of Graeme Smith’s appointment as Director of Cricket.  These issues certainly didn’t help the on-field performances. But… Continue reading

Is professional sport dying?

Is professional sport (or domestic sport as it was called during the amateur era) busy dying, especially in the southern hemisphere? When one sees the empty stadiums in all three major sports in South Africa, it certainly looks like it. Even football, that is a truly global game played in over two hundred countries, is under pressure crowd wise in South Africa. Except for the Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, and to a degree the Mamelodi Sundowns matches, crowd attendances are sparse. Rugby in the southern hemisphere is under pressure with Super Rugby losing support year on year. The stadiums are literally empty, with television viewership down in all three countries; the competition seems to be in free fall. Even international rugby in these three countries is under pressure, with only the All Blacks, England and British & Irish Lions being able to fill stadiums. Domestic cricket… Continue reading

Cricket first!

For me, some of the truest words ever were spoken by the late Robin Williams’s character in the epic 1989 film Dead Poets Society:  “The human race is filled with passion.  Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life.  But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” One can add sport to poetry, beauty, romance and love.  Cricket, for example, is not necessary to sustain life, but it is what millions of people stay alive for.  It fills their lives with passion. We as players, coaches, administrators, officials, journalists and agents are incredibly lucky to be working in cricket, a sport and a passion other people “stay alive for”.  It places a massive responsibility on us.  When we bungle things, we rob millions of their passion to “stay alive for”. There is only one way us who work in the industry… Continue reading

New signings at One World of Sport

One World of Sport is proud to announce the signing of three young players, Heath Richards, Nicholas Keevy and Gerhardus Fourie. Richards is an 18-year old allrounder from South Western Districts (SWD).  He is a right0handed middle order batsman and right-arm fast bowler.  He made his debut for SWD earlier this season while still at school and has since played five first-class, four List A and five T20 games.  He already has a first-class fifty behind his name.  His all-round abilities came to the fore at the Khaya Majola Coke Week in December when he won the award for Bowler of the Week. 17-year old Keevy is in matric at Grey High in Port Elizabeth.  He scored the second most runs at the Khaya Majola Coke Week in December and on the back of this impressive performance was selected for the SA Schools team.  Keevy is a right-hand opening batsman… Continue reading

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