Sober Laaitie Skryf Vir Ons So Stukkie Krieket

Die dik heavy babelas van gister se rugby het ons inspire om vir ‘n slag sober thought te pen. Al probleem is dat meeste van die fokkers wat vir die site skryf selde nugter is.

Gelukkig het ons ‘n 18-jarige klong ons onslangs uitgekak oor daar nie krieket op die site is nie. Ons tune hom toe om iets te looi. Hy stuur toe vir ons die stukkie en ons doop hom toe sommer die “Sober Schoolboy”.
Hy laaik obviously krieket, maar het ook ‘n passie vir sokker en drink glo net skoon coke as hy tik. Chekkit uit.

 

By The Sober Schoolboy

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When South Africa’s ban from international cricket was lifted in 1991/2, there was a palpable sense of optimism within the country. After all, the last official test series before we were kicked out was a 4- 0 drubbing of Australia in 1970. What could go wrong? Well, as was found out in the ensuing years, quite a bit could, in fact.

At the start of the nineties South African cricket had some good prospects, with the likes of Cronje, Rhodes and Gary Kirsten all breaking through and making an impact, with an older core of players like Donald and Wessels helping to ease these youngsters in.

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These were all very talented players who, on paper, were possibly just as good as our current world beating (test) team. What always kept them back, however, was the constant feeling of having to compensate for a lost generation which generally seemed to be a burden, with the typical South Africa mindset being prevalent, with players like Rice always making their voices heard.

This fear of failure is what eventually lead to the choker’s tag and the rest of it and consequently doomed an entire generation, which was classified as “too white, undeserving and underperforming.” It’s no wonder Hansie took the money.

It’s no coincidence that the general attitude of South African cricket changed in 2008 when the last of that old guard left. Shaun Pollock was a very good cricketer, but represented the stagnation of South African cricket with players who had grown up in the Apartheid years.

Since then, the fear of failure has left the team, which was a process that started long before Gary Kirsten’s appointment. For the first time, our captain is a regular person with no martyr tag or holier than thou attitude. Smith is almost likeable these days.

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A new clinical approach has also seemed to evolve in this side, with Vernon Philander seemingly the final piece in the jigsaw to complement Steyn and Morkel and give us the undisputed top bowling attack. The batsmen don’t seem to be shivering every time they’re at the crease anymore, which also helps, with real mental strength being shown, encapsulated by Faf du Plessis’ recent innings against Australia, similar to JP Duminy’s in 2008.

This is not the same mental strength that Ray Jennings was crooning on about in 2004 when he praised Andrew Hall for outliving more gunshots than 50 Cent. It’s a mentality that has taken years to mould, a bridging of the gap which has taken more than fifteen years. Mickey Arthur’s excuses are also a thing of the past, with the current crop all seeming to generally own their mistakes and learn from them.

It must be emphasised, however, that this current side are not yet a patch on the Australian side of ten years ago that literally had all the tools to make them successful on any surface. We are very much still a work in progress in all three levels. The sight of Alviro Peterson walking to the crease is altogether more assuring than Andrew Hudson though.

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