Imran Tahir and the Proteas

Imran sat out the entire 5 match one-day series against India. Why? Various reasons have been offered from using him as a secret weapon to unsuitable pitches to having too long a tail. I mean Puhlease!

India played several part-time spinners in the series regardless of the pitch. They exposed their part-timers to the pressures of playing a top team. Long tail? It’s not the job of the tail to win matches for us. It’s the job of the front-line batsmen.

It’s as if we are addicted to pace and do not trust ourselves with spin. All our spinners are containers except for Tahir who is a true wicket-taking spinner. Entrust the scoring duties to your batsmen and the wicket-taking duties to your bowlers. We have always looked to our all-rounders to somehow bridge the gap between our batsmen and our bowlers should the top order batsmen fail. Quit looking for or trying to develop all-rounders at all costs. That era is over. Specialise and nurture batting and bowling talent as separate skills.

So, my World cup team is:
*Smith (spin if needed)
*Amla
*De Villiers
*Kallis (4th seamer)
*Van Wyk
*Duminy (spin if needed)
*Faf (legbreak if needed)
*Morkel
*Steyn
*Tsotsobe
*Tahir

And good luck to the squad. Maybe the pressure is off this time and we can quietly sneak into the final and win it!

THE WORLD AFTER 2020 – FUTURE RECYCLING

I find Mbendi a valuable source of information. their posts are insightful. The following taken from their newsletter (www.mbendi.com)

“As I weave my way through the traffic on my bicycle to and from work each day with nary another cyclist in sight, I regularly ask myself a very serious question: Am I the idiot or are the idiots the people huddled in their cars listening to banal talk radio while waiting for the traffic to move? You be the judge.

Each month I save the equivalent of two tanks of gasoline, not to be sneezed at in these times of financial constraint. Peddling home up the hill keeps me fit and healthy and saves me more money as I have less need to see the doctor. My actions contribute next to nothing to the city’s traffic jams, pollution levels and road maintenance costs. In fact, for me, traffic jams don’t exist and there’s the added exhilaration of whizzing between stalled cars. Finally, I get to really appreciate the beauty of the city where I live, unimpeded by vehicle roofs or tinted glass. Doesn’t that sound compelling? Meanwhile, if I were to tap on the windows of some of those cars I pass so I can ask the drivers why they’re not biking, I’m sure their surly answers would boil down to security, sweatiness and sheer laziness.

Maybe the dearth of cyclists can also be attributed to the lack of formal cycle paths? So last week I dashed off an E-mail to my city councillor suggesting, half seriously, half in jest, that all the councillors buy, borrow or beg bicycles and cycle to their next meeting. I even listed some of the challenges he would encounter in his area en route. The survivors would be able to pool their experiences and come up with a compelling plan for cycling in the city. Clearly the councillor is a busy man with no sense of humour at all because back came a prompt response berating me for slagging him off. My huge, two volume dictionary doesn’t list the verb slag offbut I assume it means criticising a person or object that warrants criticism but is very sensitive!

He also suggested I go to the city administration’s website and record my complaints and suggestions there. Since I’ve tried that route before without success, I thought I would share my ideas with you now that I’ve sold you on the idea of cycling as you go about your daily business. You might even want to lodge some of these suggestions with your own local councillors.

First put a massive tax on gasoline; this makes it more expensive to drive and increases the amount in your back pocket as you cycle. Use the tax to provide free, efficient public transport (as a keen cyclist you will need this when it rains). Create cycle lanes by blocking off a third of the main roads between the city centre and the suburbs. Don’t undertake any major road upgrades unless they include the provision of a safe, smooth cycle path. Remove the requirement for high rise buildings to provide parking space for cars, just bikes. Give tax breaks to parents who ride to school with their kids each day. Ramp up law enforcement along cycle routes. Lastly, under no circumstances whatsoever should the council erect signposts or place huge flower pots in the middle of a cycle path where they can cause inconvenience and accidents!

You should also remember to remind your children and grandchildren to give you an even bigger present next birthday as a special thank you for making their present and future world a better place – a fancy new bicycle with a comfortable saddle and lots of gears would be a good start!”

Hangberg DA dilemma

The DA accuses the ANC of politicizing the Hangberg issue when the real issues are the grievances of the people. The bright hope of the DA to be a world class administration was sullied by the show of police brutality a few weeks ago. That was a throwback to an apartheid era we all wish to leave buried deeply in the psyche of the people yet they have resurrected it and must now face the censure of the people. As custodians of the sacred trust of managing the province for the people they need to display a compassion and a wisdom that doesn’t fight fire with fire or an eye for an eye (no pun intended) but use discretion and dialogue and engagement until the issues are resolved. There are always those who would bedevil the process but wisdom requires the DA to see through the games being played and discharge themselves of the task entrusted to them ie provide the communities with housing solutions. Admittedly that is easier said than done but just because the journey is long doesn’t mean the first and necessary steps shouldn’t be taken.

The alternative is that if left unattended and unresolved, this issue will fester and spill over into a more general dissatisfaction with the status quo in the province and that is surely the least desirable outcome for the DA. Political parties all play up to the electorate during election years or just ahead of elections yet the measure of a party or an administration is always how well it fulfilled its promises to the electorate.

Promises are one thing, results are something entirely different. Results create legacies, unkept promises merely perpetuate the notion that politics is a dirty game with no winners.

World Debt

Gross government debt for Japan is at *201%,  the UK *98% and the figure for the US in 2009 is *108%.

In personal terms this would be called insolvency or damn close to it. (*This data from the South African Reserve Bank. Article in today’s Cape Times Business Section).

In Europe at the moment, embattled Greece is at 115% and seeking a massive bailout from the Eurozone running into billions of euros.

To what extent will this contribute to the GFC? …

Zuma and the corruption gravy train

Says Zuma: “It is not because the administrative systems that exist in government are worse than any other in the world. The simple truth is that we face a crisis of accountability.”

True but what next President Zuma?

As “struggle” partners, we delivered democracy into the hands of the government. It is incumbent on it to solve the problems of democracy

Malema does it again

Malema verbally attacked a British reporter yesterday in a show of  crassness.

I think the man  is an unguided missile.  It seems to me he is doing more damage at the moment than good.  It could be concluded that ANC is losing credibility in the wake of his outbursts. 

In all seriousness someone in his position, if this continues unchecked, should resign. So maybe it is just the brashness of youth. Who knows? Suffice it to say it is doing damage to our country’s image abroad. Especially ahead of the World Cup.

And that is something we can do without.

Bulls in rampant form

The Blue Bulls savaged the Chiefs in New Zealand to go back to the top of the Super 14 rugby table.

It was vinatge Bulls on display, rucking, mauling, chips over the top, taking the ball up the middle, driving, poaching, soring!

They took the game away from the hapless Chiefs in the final quarter after switching into overdrive.  The Chiefs were good value for money and remained competitive but at the end of the day there was only one team!

Moment of the match: Fourie du Preez poaching a Chiefs pass close to his own line and racing away to score