There has been reason for India to celebrate about cricket on Sunday, not only did they beat Australia in what has been one of the more controversial tours in recent history, the Under-19 side won the World cup beating South Africa by 12 runs. To read about the win down under click here. To read about the victory in the Under-19 world cup click here
South Africa’s second test has brought on all sorts of records. The first day saw 400 scored by the openers a new record for a one day unbroken opening partnership, which ended at 415 on the second day, which is the highest ever opening partnership. McKenzie scored his first double hundred in any form of the game ending on 226. On the bowling front, Ntini passed Allan Donald’s haul of 330 wickets and is now only behind Pollock the top wicket-taker for South Africa managing 421 in 108 matches.
Dale Steyn has been described as a weapon of mass destruction by Ntini and after picking up his 100th wicket in his 20th test it is difficult to disagree with Ntini’s statement, especially when you consider he has taken more than half his wickets in the last seven tests (this test isn’t finished yet either!!) To see the records for the players who have achieved 100 test wickets the fastest click here or here.
The 23 players to join the Standard Bank High performance programme have been named. They are: Ahmed Amla (Nashua Dolphins), Gulam Bodi (Nashua Titans), Loots Bosman (Gestetner Diamond Eagles), Johan Botha (Chevrolet Warriors), Henry Davids (Nashua Cape Cobras), Dillon du Preez (Gestetner Diamond Eagles), Jean-Paul Duminy (Nashua Cape Cobras), Dean Elgar (Gestetner Diamond Eagles), Matthew Harris (bizhub Highveld Lions), Imraan Khan (Nashua Dolphins), Rory Kleinveldt (Nashua Cape Cobras), Heino Kuhn (Nashua Titans), Ethy Mbhalati (Nashua Titans), Albie Morkel (Nashua Titans), Justin Ontong (bizhub Highveld Lions), Alviro Petersen (bizhub Highveld Lions), Robin Peterson (Chevrolet Warriors), Vernon Philander (Nashua Cape Cobras), Andrew Puttick (Nashua Cape Cobras), Blake Snijman (bizhub Highveld Lions), Thandi Tshabalala (Gestetner Diamond Eagles), Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Chevrolet Warriors) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (bizhub Highveld Lions).
It is interesting to note that Monde Zondeki and Faf Du Plessis are missing. These asre the two obvious exceptions from the squad I can see. The surprises in the squad are Loots Bosman and Andrew Puttick. I am a fan of Bosman but he seems to have fallen to the wayside especially after calling Mickey Arthur a liar. (See this article) Andrew Puttick didn’t cope at the top level, however the selectors must believe he has it to make a comeback into the international arena.
Zondeki has had his best seasson yet and Du Plessis has been earmarked as a future all star. The players I am pleased to see in the squad are Henry Davids, a man who had a good finish to last season and continued this season with some good knocks. Alviro Peterson had a torrid time in the longer version of the game but has already made a 100 (so has Davids) in the limited over format. Blake Snijman is another fantastic prospect.
South African cricket always seems to be part of some controversy. At the moment there are rumours going around that Norman Arndse’s job is on the line. There is talk that a vote of no confidence will be given against him tomorrow. The SA team manager and Vice president of CSA has flown back for an emergency meeting to be held tomorrow.
Arendse vetoed the squad sent to Bangladesh 3 times before Majola stamped his approval on the same squad. The government has come out and backed Arendse indicating that there should be more black players in the squad. Some would say that is fair enough there are only 4 out of 14 BUT what is the point of taking 6 players of colour when only 3 are going to play? Yes there is exposure to the international arena but surely it is better to stay behind and participate in the local league keeping match fit?
The only player that was unlucky to be left out was Monde Zondeki, he had a fantastic season and is really pushing for a place in the national side. He is developing and maturing as a fast bowler and should really have been picked and possibly been chosen before Ntini. However that said SA would then had 3 inexperienced youngsters opening the attack. Zondeki wouldn’t be able to replace Steyn who is now the second best bowler in the world nor Morkel who is not only developing in to a great bowler but also as an all-rounder.
What is sad to see if the governments point of view, the whole article can be accessed here. These are chilling extracts from Komphela who chairs the Ministry of Sport and Recreation’s Portfolio Committee. Whilst commenting on the criticism received by Arendse he said it is “an attack on transformation in cricket”.
He also went on to say: “We must build this country through unity and through sport, we have all seen how united this country becomes as soon as one national team wins. All of us, even the president (Thabo Mbeki), supported the Springboks when they won the World Cup. People asked me ‘why’ and I said ‘they might be white, probably by accident, but they are South Africans, it doesn’t make them lesser South Africans.’
“But our agenda is to tell them to transform and that is not going to stop. We are unapologetic about that because the truth is very simple: we all need to feel like we have a place in the national team.”
“We are committed to having a free and fair South Africa without fear – we don’t want to create a Kenya or a Zimbabwe here – but there is a section of the community that pushes us to the limit and tries to make us regret what Nelson Mandela has done for this country, and we don’t want to regret that,” said Komphela.
“We are pleading with them not to push us that far. People say sport should not be political. Sport has always been political in South Africa, it has been used as a guillotine for black people. Now we want sport to unite people and not be what it was before.”
It will be an interesting day tomorrow, to see whether Arendse can survive the chop after appealing to the government. At the end of the day the side is one that is becoming more racially balanced but is at the moment built on merit. Every player deserves to be there, regardless of colour and there is no doubt the JP Duminy and Zondeki will soon stake their places in the team.
This hit show will be around for the rest of the decade barring injury or self destruction. Between them they managed 8 wickets for 77 runs in Bangladesh’s first innings. Morkel has been widely regarded as the next Pollock and South Africa struggling at 76/4 there is no time like the present to show his capabilities as a batsman. Steyn call also wield the willow as was seen in the English County games.
South Africa have at last found the replacements for the Pollock and Ntini show and they are set to be even more destructive and dangerous.