Weekly Column

The Wonders of Communication

 November 11, 2019
 neil manthorp
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Corrie van Zyl has been a general manager at Cricket South Africa since 2009. Before that, he was a long-serving coach of Free State, the Diamond Eagles and then the Knights. Before that, he enjoyed a 12-year career as a player spanning 104 first-class matches culminating in two ODIs on the ground-breaking tour of the […]

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The Player Dispute – explained.

 November 2, 2019
 neil manthorp
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There’s something instinctively dull, disinteresting and disappointing about off-field disputes in sport, especially when they involve administrators. It’s perfectly understandable – the reason we follow sport, after all, is to escape the real world. But in the case of South African cricket and the toxic relationship between the country’s professional players and their national bosses, […]

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What is it with South African players and The Hundred?

 October 22, 2019
 neil manthorp
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The general consensus of opinion seems to be that the highly anticipated Players Draft for ‘The Hundred’ was an underwhelming affair characterised by a series of selections and omissions described, variously, as ‘strange’, ‘unexpected’ and ‘hard to understand’. Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga’s names were left in the hat, undrawn, as were those of Kagiso […]

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Let Bavuma fight for his place, he’s worth it.

 October 15, 2019
 neil manthorp
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Reassuring a cricketer about his value to the team is not the same as making him undroppable. The former is a good thing; the latter can have the opposite effect. Few players are indispensable to the teams they play in, and even when they reach that status it doesn’t last forever. Not usually, anyway. Jacques […]

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England’s Kirsten loss could be SA’s gain…

 October 9, 2019
 neil manthorp
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Back in the days when Gary Kirsten toured under the captaincy of Kepler Wessels and Hansie Cronje he would occasionally yearn for a day off, especially after four or five weeks on the road when it was abundantly obvious that the majority of the squad were going through the motions in the nets and gaining […]

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Time for Captain Faf to take the elevator

 October 6, 2019
 neil manthorp
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Faf du Plessis was ebullient in his praise for the senior players who “put their hands up” during the first Test against India describing Dean Elgar’s 160 and Quinton de Kock’s 111 as innings which “gave the team great confidence and belief” and said that “scoring over 400 on the subcontinent is never an easy […]

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Punchy Proteas seek early blow against heavyweight India

 October 1, 2019
 neil manthorp
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For a contest between the runaway first ranked team in the world and the third, the Test series between India and South Africa, which begins in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, has not received the attention it might have in different circumstances. But that could change very quickly if the tourists achieve their objective in “throwing some […]

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Commentary in Kabul, perhaps.

 September 26, 2019
 neil manthorp
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Why would a white, 52-year-old cricket writer from a privileged background, with a wife and two teenage daughters, want to work in Kabul, Afghanistan? That’s the question – and the answer. It is still difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the Afghan cricket story, and its extraordinary result. Just over a dozen years ago they […]

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Imported, canned peaches

 September 18, 2019
 neil manthorp
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Back in the early 1990s a well-known and popular Cape Town delicatessen boasted a large, painted sign on the wall outside advertising “Imported, canned peaches.” It was an extraordinary thing on many levels and never failed to grab my attention every time I walked or drove past. But it never enticed me inside. Quite the […]

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 SA in India and the context of ‘Context’

 September 12, 2019
 neil manthorp
 No Comments

Whichever prism of experience you view the game through, whatever it is you wish to glean from it, it is important to understand different perspectives even if you cannot relate directly to them. At least, it is important for long-serving reporters. South Africa play India in three T20 Internationals starting on Sunday and, for a […]

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