Wednesday, January 14, 2015


         Surely South Africa’s cricket supporters as well as its sponsors
Justin Ontong
have a right to expect that its best team should be fielded for all international matches.
         But that’s not happening. Our cricket authorities seem to think that it’s perfectly acceptable to pick any old team regardless of its strength, particularly when it comes to the shorter forms of the game.
         Take the current three match T20 series against the West Indies. The visitors fielded their strongest eleven while our selectors headed by the unimpressive Andrew Hudson left out most of our best batsmen and bowlers.
Top run makers like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, possibly the best batsman in the world in the shorter forms of the game, were “rested” whatever that means.
 Our leading fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were also consider in need of a rest.
Steyn with Player of a Series
We were so blasé about the opposition even though the West Indies were the 2012 T20 World Cup winners that our cricket experts evidently felt that our second team or was it our third team would easily beat them.
It’s supposed to be an honour to play for your country but our cricket selectors are cheapening it and making it pretty worthless.
Our teams get weakened even further by what appears to be a need to fulfil a racial quota. This results in certain players like batsman Farham
, who are clearly not of international standard, getting picked time and again because they are of the right non-white colour.   
South Africa lost the first two matches of the current series and as I write the third match due to be played today has been reduced to an even bigger farce because the selectors have decided to rest Faf du Plessis, the captain in the first two games who was also by far our leading run scorer with a century in his last outing – no mean feat in just 20 overs.
The captaincy for this last match has been given to Justin Ontong, who shouldn’t even be in the team based on his playing record. He has not managed to reach 50 once in any of the 43 matches he has played for his country. As a bowler he has been equally pathetic with just one T20 wicket, one in Tests and nine in one day games.
         Fortunately for him he gets in on being the right colour. That takes precedence over ability in many spheres of South Africa life and is a sure recipe for mediocrity. It’s also the reason why South Africa’s chances of winning the up coming World Cup One Day tournament in Australia and New Zealand are practically nil.
         (See my Post Cricket in Black and White)
Cricketers who represent their countries have days, if not weeks between their international matches, yet our Protea players seem to be given more matches off for a rest than they actually play.
It’s cheating the public. They want to see their idols in action not sitting in the stand. But above all they want to see their team winning, not being beaten when they know their country could have fielded a much better side.
It’s time they started showing their disapproval by staying away from the grounds. The sponsors too should threaten to withdraw their support unless the best available team (allowing for injuries) is picked at all times.
This kind of robbery needs to be given OUT immediately as it has no place in any game which depends on the support of thousands of fans.
Yours disgustedly,

P.S. The weather report is that today’s match is likely to be washed out by a thunder storm that is predicted for Durban. That’s the best thing that could happen as the game will be a washout whatever happens.


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