Stop playing silly games

Could someone please be brave enough to stop the pathetic game-playing that is sucking a lot of South African cricket into the quicksand of doubt and mistrust.

Everybody with a ‘voice’, be it on radio, television, website or newspaper column seems to know what’s going wrong. Or at least, that’s the impression that they create.

Why are the players unhappy? Do they have any right to feel unhappy? Which administrators are negligent and what have they done wrong – or failed to do right?

And most importantly, why the hell don’t the people who know the answers to these questions – or at least believe they know the answers – speak up? What are they scared of? And who?

Daryll Cullinan made an astonishing comment in a recent column in the Business Day. “With intimate knowledge of SA cricket, both on and off the field, it would be unfair to tell the whole truth.”

What? Presumably the editor of the newspaper, who paid good money for Daryll’s insight and reading of the game, was delighted that the ex-international took the money but decided to keep quiet. What a great business deal. Cullinan, however, is not alone.

Instead of inspiring players and their bosses to take charge of their own destiny and change the confused direction of the game in South Africa, oblique and non-specific references to obscure ‘mess-ups’ simply undermine whatever determination and pride their may be left at national level.

If the chief executive of the UCB, the coach of the national team and the national selectors really want the best for the country’s cricketers they will stop playing games now. The truth really does set people free.

For example: Eric Simons said after the World Cup: “We spoke about Hansie Cronje during our pre-tournament camp in the Drakensburg and there were differing views, from those who miss him and those who resent what he did to South African cricket.” This was a very positive start – absolute honesty.

Eric then said: “But it did not cause a problem in the squad because we talked it through.” This was diplomacy. Simons is an intelligent, sensitive man who took the pragmatic view that it was better not to let such an emotional issue become public.

Imagine, however, if he had said: “The players are divided on the issue and it is causing a proble. Unless they grow up, take responsibility for their actions and learn about maturity they will seriously jeorpardise our World Cup campaign.” Sometimes the truth works.

When people grumble about ‘administrators’ why don’t they just say that Gerald Majola has systematically refused to correspond with the Players Association boss Tony Irish resulting in a “them and us” attitude, fostered by Majola.

Why don’t people just say what they mean?!

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