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Afrikaans players did well with poor facilities
04 January 2012

I COULD not believe my eyes when I saw the front page article of The Herald on December 30 regarding “Sports talent battle”. What a load of hogwash!

Every excuse under the sun has been dished up from “no food in the tummy” to “no turf nets” in this article. What about “no discipline and no application”, what about “driving yourself without supervision to achieve”?

 I can go on and on and on. Surely by now with all the resources that have been ploughed into black talent development or the millions that have been spent on facilities in the townships since 1994, we should have had some sort of batsman coming out of these development academie.!

 I recall the days when cricket was a so-called Englishman’s game and all the English schools had the facilities (turf nets) and Afrikaans schools only had cement nets with a cricket coach who was actually a timekeeper. Generally, in Afrikaans schools, the teacher who did not have a sport to coach would get cricket.

 I remember the days before a cricket match when we had to roll out the mat on the rugby field because we did not have a cricket pitch. Despite these difficulties, we gave English schools a run for their money.

Some of us even made it to the Nuffield trials and only politics kept some of us out of provincial selection. Yes, politics again!

In latter years a number of Afrikaans players made it to the national side. How did this happen?

I cannot recall any development institution coming to Afrikaans schools assisting them with coaching, equipment and building practice facilities for them. I remember the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) had a cricket coaching session at Muir College in the early ’70s and some players from Afrikaans schools could attend.

No sir, the only way they came through was through hard work, dedication, commitment and passion. We played cricket every day in the summer.

Every day we went to the nets (cement nets)! We bowled and we batted.

Nobody told us we must do it. We did it because we loved it!

Muis van der Westhuizen, Miramar, Port Elizabeth

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Science Mann [07 January 2012 7:49]
I agree with Muis. The best batsmen in the world often had nothing. Bradman practiced by himself using a stump and a golf ball, Brian Lara played for hours in his mum’s driveway, Viv Richards played on a beach with a tennis ball. The key ingredients seem to be to have friends, some kind of bat, some kind of ball, and a burning desire to keep playing in any circumstances between the ages of 8-16 to train your batsman’s eye. You don’t need turf pitches (yet), you need friends willing to bowl to you for hour upon hour, no matter what you have to play with.
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Matthem [06 January 2012 12:44]
@ jagster. Why is everything about race, all Muis was trying to say was that all races of people are poor, not just black people. Its people like you who have a chip on their shoulder and bring our beautiful country down. Its 2012 almost 18years since aparheid. Surely 18years in long enough to get over these petty issues. And by the way if you have a look cricket is played with a bat and a ball not with fancy nets and pitches!
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Jagster [06 January 2012 8:58]
Once again some white spoiled brat going off and does not understand what others go through. Go spend a day and see how these kids spend their day and look at their facilities.At least you had field and a mat to roll out.Most of these school does not have the luxury of cricket bats?
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Your Views

Science Mann 7 January 2012 7:49 am

I agree with Muis. The best batsmen in the world often had nothing. Bradman practiced by himself using a stump and a golf ball, Brian Lara played for hours in his mum’s driveway, Viv Richards played o…

Science Mann 6 January 2012 6:24 pm

Paul, when you say you have researched the debate over creation/evolution, did you stop to first understand the science of it, or just read what creationists have to say on the matter? I hate to say i…

Science Mann 6 January 2012 6:10 pm

Mary, To support your interpretation that ‘days’ was a measure of time, the original Hebrew word was ‘yod’. Yod can either mean ‘day’ or ‘long period of time’. If you want to jam science into seven y…

Science Mann 6 January 2012 5:46 pm

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Matthem 6 January 2012 12:44 pm

@ jagster. Why is everything about race, all Muis was trying to say was that all races of people are poor, not just black people. Its people like you who have a chip on their shoulder and bring our be…

mcluhanist 6 January 2012 12:27 pm

If the Moses and the Israelites didn’t know murder, stealing and rape were morally wrong during their 40 year meander through the desert they would have never reached Mount Sinai in the first place……

mcluhanist 6 January 2012 12:00 pm

Mary, there may be a God, however, probably not Yahweh. The God of the Bible is a sadistic, manipulative, jealous mass murderer. You can cherry pick throughout the old and new testaments, there’s no…

mcluhanist 6 January 2012 11:46 am

You’re right. We should relinquish all control to the state or some other guiding body. Decisions made for ourselves, sacrilege! And, “a society fast becoming dysfunctional”. It’s 2012 and the vas…

Jagster 6 January 2012 8:58 am

Once again some white spoiled brat going off and does not understand what others go through. Go spend a day and see how these kids spend their day and look at their facilities.At least you had field a…

thirsty 6 January 2012 7:25 am

As Dokhotelo says a pass at 30% is stupid. Just think you can get the vast majority of “basic” education wrong and still pass. I think the Dept of Education should give us the statistics of the previo…