It has nothing to do with Jonty’s sad demise and nothing to do with ‘Biff’ Smith’s arrival. It has nothing to with the pressure of Sunday’s match against New Zealand – actually it has nothing to do with any of the players but there is an air of brooding unease and unhappiness in the SA camp at the moment.
Consider this. When a batsman is given out incorrectly, he can’t say anything about it. Nothing ‘on the record’, anyway. If he does he gets fined. Same with a bowler – let your frustration show by gesticulating on the field and you’re going to be several thousand bucks poorer the moment the administrators have finished with you.
And what happens when a player stays out too late and has a couple too many drinks? He faces a disciplinary committee immediately and is fined and reprimanded. Herschelle Gibbs was whacked for R6 000 in New Zealand five years ago and the ‘famous five’ were blasted for R10 000 for having a private puff on the Antiguan grass two years ago.
No doubt about it, discipline is a pretty big issue among Shaun Pollock’s team. Behave or pay up. They are frequently told to behave appropriately at all times, on and off the field. They are reminded about their ambassadorial status 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Excuses are simply tolerated.
That’s why Percy Sonn’s behaviour in Paarl on Wednesday, being president of the country’s board no less, is entirely unacceptable and sets a poor example. After all, he too is an employee of the UCB.
There is no room for hypocritical behaviour when you work for one of the highest profile organisations in the country – particularly when you’re at the game’s showpiece tournament.
He now needs to show a humble side to his nature and express publicly his remorse for his drunken behaviour. The team needs to know that what’s off limits for them is off limits for everyone.
It may be optimistic to imagine anyone has the nerve to invite him to appear before a disciplinary committee, which is why he should endeavour to make an example of himself.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.