Weekly Column

Time for a Revolution

 August 20, 2020
 neil manthorp
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A couple of days ago a young player with a handful of Proteas caps to his credit contacted me to ask what was going on at CSA. When I said I didn’t really know but that I was extremely worried, he asked whether he and his Franchise team mates would still have jobs by the […]

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Trusting ‘the system’ is today’s problem

 August 12, 2020
 neil manthorp
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Perhaps it’s because I’m a life-long freelancer who’s never known the comfort and security of a regular monthly salary but when I read and heard claims by some former black players that they had been paid less than their equivalent white colleagues it struck me as the most vile form of prejudice, if true. They […]

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All round honesty is essential to a brighter future

 August 5, 2020
 neil manthorp
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“If your partner’s father dies and you say ‘everyone dies’ then you’re correct but not very sensitive to the moment.” In recent weeks Faf du Plessis and Graeme Smith have spoken about this being a time to listen to grievances, to understand and try to be empathetic. Both subsequently spoke about their desire to do […]

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SA cricket people need to pull on the same rope

 July 29, 2020
 neil manthorp
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The news that acting Cricket South Africa CEO, Jacques Faul, will be stepping down from the role on September 15 will come as a bitter blow to those hoping for a continuation of the stability and progress he had started to bring to the game since taking over seven months ago.He had hoped to continue in the role but […]

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‘Black Lives Matter’ – Get the players involved

 July 21, 2020
 neil manthorp
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Professional cricketers are required to undergo educational training about match-fixing and sign a contractually-binding pledge to report any approaches from book-makers or fixers which may compromise them or their team-mates. Failure to report approaches, or knowledge of match-fixing amongst team-mates or even the opposition, can result in the same punishment as complicit involvement. Why isn’t […]

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Small Platforms for Big Statements

 July 13, 2020
 neil manthorp
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When AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn were selected to make their Test debuts together on December 17th, 2004, they had played just 13 and 11 first-class matches. It is extraordinarily rare for a player to rise so quickly to the highest stage, not so much rising through the ranks as skipping them altogether. At […]

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“Cricket is full of good people doing good things for the benefit of many.”

 July 6, 2020
 neil manthorp
 No Comments

The explosion of creativity in sport and the arts during Lockdown has been remarkable and uplifting to see, at least for the first couple of months when it was spontaneous and inspired by a desire to entertain and, in some cases, be seen. It has become a little more forced these days and, in some cases, motivated by concern about […]

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Thank you, Norman Gifford

 May 20, 2020
 neil manthorp
 No Comments

Not being able to say sorry is regrettable but not having the chance to say thank you can linger just as long. It has been almost 33 years in this instance and, although the man is still alive and well, I may never get the chance. So I’ll put it in writing and, who knows, […]

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Cricket, like all sport, needs to stand on its own feet

 April 25, 2020
 neil manthorp
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It strikes me that there would be an understandable outcry if Cricket South Africa (or SA Rugby or SAFA, for that matter) went cap in hand to president Cyril Ramaphosa and asked for a small slice of the R500 billion ‘stimulus package’ if and when the time comes when their money runs out. Which is […]

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Sport can keep the economy moving

 April 15, 2020
 neil manthorp
 No Comments

The Indian Premier League has just been “postponed indefinitely” – which means it has not been cancelled. To do so would mean denying the Indian economy of an estimated $11 billion this year, money which will be desperately needed to fight not only the spread of the corona virus, but the effects it will have […]

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