Weekly Column

Helicopter with Athers

 January 2, 2020
 neil manthorp
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I was invited to preview the Newlands Test Match with Michael Atherton from a helicopter.  What an amazing experience. I live in Cape Town but have never done this before and Athers has become a great friend over the years.   He wasn’t at the start of my career when I was desperate for an interview […]

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Mad Dogs and Englishmen down memory lane

 December 26, 2019
 neil manthorp
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Rarely has anything seemed more pre-ordained in South Africa’s post-isolation history than Kepler Wessels and Allan Donald earning themselves a place on the Lord’s Honours Board during the 1994 tour of England. The captain chiselled his way to 105 with a determination bordering on obsessive while Donald, by then a Warwickshire veteran, claimed 5-74 as […]

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Bored of the Board

 December 18, 2019
 neil manthorp
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The time for anger and acrimony has passed, for now, to be replaced by a more positive energy with tinges of pity for those who cannot accept the new reality in South African cricket. The new Director of Cricket and his coaching staff have it all to prove but, whomever they had been, a fresh […]

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Working in a vacuum of trust

 December 11, 2019
 neil manthorp
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It is no coincidence that the announcement of Graeme Smith’s temporary and short-term appointment as Director of Cricket in South Africa was made by interim chief executive Jacques Faul rather than the defunct president, Chris Nenzani. I say ‘Director of Cricket in South Africa’ rather than CSA’s Director of Cricket because, although Smith may be […]

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Telling the Truth

 December 8, 2019
 neil manthorp
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There were many interesting aspects of CSA president Chris Nenzani’s press conference on Saturday, not least his refusal to apologise for the humiliating judgement handed down by Advocate Ginsburg SC in the case against the Western Province Cricket Association. “We need to get it right the next time we exercise our ‘step-in’ rights,” Nenzani said. […]

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It’s URGENT!

 December 4, 2019
 neil manthorp
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The revocation of five journalists accreditations last weekend was a horrible embarrassment for Cricket South Africa – they had no idea of the international outrage it would cause – but it was also a great shame that it distracted attention from the two, far more serious issues. Good governance and the England tour are far […]

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Sick and tired of talking Boardroom

 November 27, 2019
 neil manthorp
 No Comments

Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram will, presumably, be restored at the top of the order in the first Test against England now that Markram has learnt that walls generally put up a decent defence if you pick a fight with one. The middle order is far less certain after the calamitous tour of India but […]

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Time for the CSA Board to do something

 November 20, 2019
 neil manthorp
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Last year, before the Cricket South Africa board was marginalised by a restructure which allowed chief executive Thabang Moroe to assume greater control and make operational decisions without having to defer to the directors, they voted to allow the first edition of the Mzansi Super League to go ahead on the proviso that it did […]

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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
 No Comments

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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