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Europe here we come

Now that I have almost managed to digest the overdose of humble pie I was fed over the weekend, it is time to look forward to bigger things – the end-of-year tour by the Springboks.

No surprises in the comments about the players selected – it is a national passion, playing armchair selector, and being very vociferous, whether we agree, or not.

It seems to me that Heyneke (pictured above with bok forward coach Johann van Graan) is employing a new coaching tactic – he wants to transfer the skills and experience of the senior players to the up and coming youngsters. This is the only logical explanation I can come up with for the selection of Bakkies Botha. Mind you, Flip van der Merwe will probably not learn too much from him in terms of the rough stuff. Maybe the focus there will be more on doing what he does, just avoiding being spotted so often.

Jacque Fourie, like Fourie du Preez, provides structure and discipline, and the youngsters around them will no doubt benefit tremendously. While I share Scarra Ntubeni’s joy at being selected, I do feel that Chiliboy Ralepelle was hard done by, following after an excellent Super series. On the other hand, he did enjoy the benefits of being in the squad and learning from Bismarck and Adriaan. This is certainly not the end of the line for him, and I am sure it was also conveyed to him by Meyer.

The same can possibly be said for Jano Vermaak, although I feel that Cobus Reinach did more to deserve a spot than Louis Schreuder. On the other, other, hand (Naas), one has to be careful to judge a player on his last game alone.

The Chosen Ones

My colleague, Anton van Rooyen, walks into my office on Monday with a copy of a book called The Chosen – The 50 greatest Springboks of all time. Written by Andy Colquhoun and Paul Dobson, it contains pen sketches on players going as far back as Danie Craven, and is a real treat for anyone wishing to roll back the mist of time. A hint in time may just ensure that loved ones buy you a copy for Christmas – if you can wait that long!

Imagine Frik du Preez and Victor Matfield at lock, Fourie du Preez and Naas Botha as halfbacks, Carl du Plessis and Bryan Habana on the wing and the mercurial HO de Villiers at fullback. Stuff to make one drool.

Faf’s Foul

Being caught tampering with the ball is something that will hurt Du Plessis’s ego far more than the damage to his purse.

In response to a comment on Monday’s blog, Bobby did some research and came up with the following information published by Sapa-AFP:

Waqar Younis, speaking to ESPNcricinfo after the test, also believed the fine was lenient: “I think, to be very honest, Faf got away with just 50% of the match fee. I thought it was a bit of frustration from the South Africans, they did not need to do that. It leaves a big question mark on South Africa’s credibility.”

Here is a complete list of the players fined or suspended for ball tampering

  • Waqar Younis (Pakistan) fined 50 percent match fee and suspended for one one-day, Colombo 2000
  • Azhar Mahmood (Pakistan) fined 30 percent match fee, Colombo 2000
  • Sachin Tendulkar (India) vs South Africa Port Elizabeth Test – fined 75 percent fee and suspended suspension for one Test in 2001
  • Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan) fined 75 percent fee and banned for two one-day matches tri-series vs Sri Lanka in Dambulla – 2003
  • Rahul Dravid (India) vs Zimbabwe one-day – fined 50 percent fee in Brisbane 2004
  • Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) vs Australia in a one-day Perth 2010 banned for two T20s
  • Michael Atherton (England) vs South Africa Oval Test, fined 2,000 pound by England and Wales Cricket Board, 30 percent by match referee on showing dissent – 1994. –

Meneer Younis, mense wat in glashuise woon, moet nie klippe gooi nie. Hulle moet ook die gordyne toetrek as hulle uittrek.

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