Poor old Herschelle Gibbs. It wasn’t his fault that he was rushed back into the Test team and it certainly wasn’t his fault that people felt sorry for Boeta Dippenaar.
In fact, Herschelle did everything required of him during his six month ban, including keeping an impressively low profile according to the instructions – actually, that should be ‘advice’ – handed down by his friends and advisers including manager Dave Richardson and UCB communications officer Bronwyn Wilkinson.
In the opinion of the rest of the cricketing world, however, his return was, at best, premature and, at worst, cynically insensitive and rushed. I know because I received phone calls from outraged radio producers and newspaper editors from Australia, New Zealand and England.
So what the hell has Gibbs’ recall got to do with them? Nothing at all, actually. But their view is an accurate reflection of the general public opinion in their countries, I suspect. I am aware of how many international visitors we have on the site, particularly from those countries, so if I am wrong then please let me know on the message board.
Cricket has a way, more than any sport I know, of holding its own court and handing out its own justice. Herschelle is a brilliant cricketer and, to be brutally honest, he’s probably a better player at the moment than Boeta.
But was he brought back too soon? Was it ‘poetic’ justice that he endured the disappointment of a second-baller? Certainly the majority of the other cricket playing nations would say ‘yes’.
The good news for South African cricket, however, is that he IS back because he will undoubtedly be back to his best very soon.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.