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Pieter De Villiers to Resign?

 

South Africa were beaten 21-17 against a Scottish side that were comprehensively thrashed by the All Blacks a week before. It would be fantasy to believe that the Scotland side performed a miraculous turnaround in a week. The truth is their game is just rising to average and their performance today wasn’t much above this benchmark. South Africa were awful in every facet of the game barring the rolling maul. The curious decisions started before kick-off with Ruan Pienaar left on the bench when 2 weeks ago he was a hero against Ireland in almost identical conditions. Many rate Hougaard very highly but after this performance, it is painfully obvious how much we miss Fourie du Preez.

The first 15 minutes of the game looked promising for the Boks who were dominant in the front and 6-0 thanks to the reliable boot of Morne Steyn. Unfortunately this was the highlight of the Springboks game and they seem to still believe that games can be won without possession. The rest of the game was a mixture of kicking the ball away, watching backline that didn’t ignite and some dubious throws into the line-ou,t which fortuitously led to the Boks’ only try. To make matters worse, Stuart Dickinson was appalling as a ref making some rather harsh calls but he in no way contributed to the South African’s demise.

 

Pieter de Villiers has had my full backing right from day 1. He picked up where Jake White hit a ceiling in terms of Springbok playing style and turned the world champions into true champions, winning the Tri-nations last year with the best rugby South Africa has ever played including beating New Zealand at home, something that has been a rarity. Sadly whilst he had taken South Africa to new highs in his tenure, his recent performances have been unconvincing and the questions asked about his ability as a coach and a manager are gaining momentum. South African rugby has gone from a side with an impenetrable defence and slick moving backline to a team with 15 headless chickens. There seems to be little structure in the Springbok camp and the many injuries do not explain the lack of organisation in the backline.

 

Focusing on PdV management ability, many fans will remember curious substitutions that nearly lost the opening game in the British Lions series and recently against Ireland the substitutions almost cost us the game. De Villiers has often been under fire for his tactical substitutions and today these substitutions cost SA any chance of winning. I am all for exposing the new players to the pressures of international rugby but we are a nation that believes winning is the key metric for judging a team’s performance. Substituting Steyn for Lambie was an unforgivable mistake and leaving Hougaard on the field for 45 minutes was 40 minutes too long.

 

South Africa’s ineptitude to comprehend the importance of possession was highlighted with 5 minutes to play when they were awarded a free kick in their own half and promptly used this as an up and under attempt, which returned possession to the Scots who effectively ensured SA wouldn’t see the ball again. This was a performance to forget, played in terrible conditions against an average Scotland team. Pieter de Villiers has a lot to answer for and a win against England is non-negotiable for the fans to have any confidence in his ability to retain the William Webb Ellis trophy. If we lose on Saturday Pieter de Villiers should gracefully admit defeat and resign before he is pushed.

 

Ashes 2010 Fixtures Australia vs England

November

5-7 v Western Australia, Perth
Play starts at 0230 GMT

11-13 v South Australia, Adelaide
Play starts at 2330 GMT (10-12 December)

17-20 v Australia A, Hobart
Play starts at 2330 GMT (16-19 December)

25-29 1st Test, Brisbane
Play starts at 0000 GMT

 

December

3-7 2nd Test, Adelaide
Play starts at 2330 GMT (2-6 December)

10-12 v Victoria, Melbourne
Play starts at 0000 GMT

16-20 3rd Test, Perth
Play starts at 0230 GMT

26-30 4th Test, Melbourne
Play starts at 0000 GMT

 

January

3-7 5th Test, Sydney
Play starts at 0000 GMT

10 v Prime Minister’s XI, Canberra
Play starts at 2245 GMT (9 January)

12 1st Twenty20 international, Adelaide (d/n)
Play starts at 0835 GMT

14 2nd Twenty20 international, Melbourne (d/n)
Play starts at 0835 GMT

16 1st ODI, Melbourne (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

21 2nd ODI, Hobart (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

23 3rd ODI, Sydney (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

26 4th ODI, Adelaide (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

30 5th ODI, Brisbane (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

 

February

2 6th ODI, Sydney (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

6 7th ODI, Perth
Play starts at 0320 GMT

 

Latest Cricket law 1 October 2010

Latest Changes to the rules of Cricket

 

 

MCC has introduced eight amendments or clarifications to the Laws of Cricket which come into effect today. The changes are aimed at providing more fairness to both sides and reducing the amount of playing time lost.

 

Bad light

 

Umpires will no longer offer the light Umpires will now be the sole arbiters of whether play should continue in poor light. The batting side will no longer have any say in the decision, which was often made for tactical reasons.

 

The toss

At least one umpire will also now be required to attend the toss and the winning captain must notify his counterpart of his decision to bat or field immediately.

 

Previously, captains could wait until ten minutes before the start of the game, but in some cases this was being exploited to the losing side’s disadvantage – and therefore contravened the Spirit of Cricket.

 

Increased fairness

Other Law changes aimed at achieving more fairness between the teams include:

  • giving batsmen who damage the pitch just one warning before penalty runs are issued, rather than two
  • preventing bowlers from delivering the ball with their front foot having crossed an imaginary line between the middle stumps (e.g. declaring they were bowling over the wicket but releasing the ball as if they were bowling round the wicket)
  • forbidding bowlers bowling the ball into the ground to a team mate, which damages the ball and may waste time.

     

Practice beyond the boundaries

 

The new laws keep pace with the rate of change in cricket Fielders will no longer be able to practice with a twelfth man or coach outside the boundary during a game, as this affords them an opportunity to prepare that is not granted to the batsmen in the middle.

 

Fielding athleticism

 

Twenty20 cricket has contributed to increasingly athletic fielding standards, and MCC strives to ensure the Laws deal with the challenges posed by the modern game.

 

Now, a fielder’s first contact with the ball must be within the boundary or, if his is airborne, when his last contact with the ground was within the field of play. He may subsequently step outside the rope, but a four or six will be scored if he makes further contact with the ball whilst grounded outside the boundary.

 

Rare dismissals

 

Mike Hussey was almost dismissed by the broken part of his bat against England at Lord’s The two final Law changes deal with very rare forms of dismissal. Law 28.1 has been amended so, if a batsman’s bat breaks in the act of playing a shot and the broken part of the bat hits the stumps, he will now be out.

 

A new sub-section has been added to Law 29.1 to protect a batsman who is well in his ground – for example a sprinting batsman who has run past his stumps – but whose feet and bat happen to be in the air as the bails are removed. He will now be deemed to be in.

Jono Leaf-Wright – Do you know him?

A fellow reader of cricketza.com emailed a question regarding Jono Leaf-Wright, does anyone know him? Please contact me on editor@cricketza.com if you do
There is guy by the name of Jono Leaf-Wright who I occasionally see in the
SA cricket team ‘s change room and he was somehow involved with  Ray Jennings team in the IPL.

Can you tell me if he has anything to do with the Protea’s coaching staff?

Supersport Comes to the Iphone App Store

Get SuperSport.com on your iPhone

There’s nothing more frustrating than being cut off from radio, TV or even
web access during a big match. Now SuperSport.com  has come to the rescue
with a free iPhone application that offers instant, real-time sports
information at the tap of a finger, no matter where you are.

The app gives users access to in-depth news and commentary as well as live
scores, fixtures and logs. Whether you’re on the road, waiting for a meeting
or working out at the gym, SuperSport for the iPhone offers you instant
access to the sports news you want, when you want it.  The selection is not
limited to rugby, cricket and soccer, either — whether your passion is
motor racing, cycling, golf or tennis, it’s now available on your iPhone.

The free app can be downloaded from the iTunes store or SuperSport.com. And
those without iPhones need not despair — there is already a SuperSport.com
mobi site that can be accessed from most mobile phones, and apps for the OVI
and Android operating systems are also in development

If anyone has used the app please comment below and if this make it to the Android world please let me know ASAP