Pitched online by Bobby
My frustrations with the press are growing deeper and deeper as these gramophones just keep whining the same old song! What I am referring to is the Smith & Boucher bashing that we have been reading about every day for the last month or two. A dropped catch for Boucher and suddenly he is a bad player! No mention of the brilliant catches he took in the Boxing Day test?
It makes me wonder – is there really nothing else to write about? A fantastic good news story is the justifiable selection of Justin Ontong. Isn’t it remarkable that the players involved in the Percy Sonn / Rudolph and Ontong drama in Australia some years ago managed to recover from that shameful event personally and professionally? Both are now included in the Proteas squad some years later. For those who don’t remember, the then Cricket South Africa president, Percy Sonn changed the test side against the Aussies at the last minute by leaving out Rudolph and replacing him with Ontong as he deemed the team not as not being “representative” enough. It was an international scandal and CSA was once again the laughing stock of world cricket.
Both players battled to recover from this. Ontong almost disappeared from the cricket scene and Rudolph was so disillusioned with CSA he left to aply his trade in the UK with great success.
Give credit where its due – Smith has been under tremendous pressure from fans, public and specifically the press and he might just have saved his ODI career in those last two innings for the Proteas. Isn’t that the stuff we want our players, leaders to be made of ? Character, bravery and temperament to succeed! Should I mention the name Ricky Ponting here? All those shouting for his head a month ago, ex- players, and journalists – where are you now? Singing his praises, but not apologising, are they?
I don’t profess to know the game better than the next guy, but cricket has enough variables in it to make it extremely difficult to be good at! It requires hard work, and a mental toughness to succeed, not to mention an element of luck.
It is with this in mind that I do not understand why our own press would want to add to this challenging environment by breaking down our players. They are starting to resemble the English tabloid press. Build up and break down – anything to sell a paper. It undermines the credibility of the paper and more so the journalist.
To summarise: you cannot believe what you read these days – it is biased and boring. If you feel that I am also guilty of this, let me know!