To retire or to be left behind?

Pitched online – by Bobby
One thing all great players of cricket, or any sport for that matter, have in common is the decision about when to call it quits. Carry on too long and you may be remembered for all the wrong reasons or call it too early and you might just miss out on the best days of your career. The Indians, Tendulkar, Dravid & Laxman are the basis of my argument when I make that point. These

Rahul Dravid - 38 years 328 days

players would not have been faulted if they left the scene a couple of years ago, at a time when things were not going so smoothly for them. Now they all are in sublime form and scoring loads of runs. They, like all cricketers, went through a rough patch at a later stage in their life. This is quite often accepted for a player in his mid-twenties but not in his mid-thirty’s. Many questions were raised at the time about them still being picked. Looking back, I think many of those critics feel a bit silly for thinking, or even saying that out loud.

Is it not the same for players like, Ponting, Hadden and our very own Boucher? Both Hadden and Ponting have had lots of pressure on them for underperforming for quite some time. It seems both had a bit of a revival in recent times and are quite possibly entering a stage in their careers, like Dravid and company, which could see some awesome performances.

Which begs my next question – are we not too harsh on Boucher? We’ve seen him do many good things, even great things! Would patience not be the best way to deal with him? As South African supporters we are very fickle and have absurdly high standards.  Obviously these players have a responsibility to only carry on while they have the passion and energy for it but what we have seen from the likes of Ponting is that they  kept working harder and harder at their shortcomings – a true mark of a champion cricketer. I think as supporters we sometimes can be a bit harsh and unrealistic in our expectations and desires for outcomes – we’re perhaps spoilt and not supportive enough in the bad times to really appreciate the good times.

I remember an English comedian ripping into Flintoff when he retired. In Flintoff’s presence he stated: “You don’t quit! You don’t quit on your country! You wait till you country quits on you!” It kind of detracts from my point but, having said that; if there is a younger player breaking down the door for selection, really pushing for a place, then it is okay for the “country to quit on you” but until then – stick with what you have.

These old dogs may just show the youngsters a few tricks yet. They could well be on the verge of a purple patch in form, and that may just save our bacon – again.

Goodbye Shane and 2011 by Paul
I am unashamedly a little tearful at the start of a test when the national anthems are sung. The Italian or Argentinean versions do not really affect me in that way, but “Flower of Scotland”, “Ireland” and “Land of my fathers” really affects my eyesight badly.


Wales legend - Shane Williams

On Saturday, Shane Williams played his last match for Wales against the Aussies. Quite frankly, this is one match I think he will not remember too fondly, apart from the emotion of the singing at the outset, and scoring a try in the dying moments.

Soos Bobby dit hierbo stel, is daar ‘n tyd om te kom en ‘n tyd om te gaan. Mens wil glo dat die meeste spelers sal verkies om te spring, eerder as om gestamp te word.

Dieselfde kan nie van 2011 gesê word nie. Dié is van plan om sommer vanself binnkort oor die afgrond te spring.

Dit was ‘n jaar van hoogte- en laagtepunte; sommige verteerbaar, and sooibranddraend, afhangend van jou provinsiale voorkeure.

Die absurditeit van die rugby owerhede om twee jaar gelede te belowe dat die Kings, wat nie eens vanjaar die B-liga kon wen nie, in die Superreeks sal speel, gaan nog hoofbrekens besorg vir die nuwe koppe wat tans die kroon dra. Dit is vererger deur die Lions, wat eintlik moes agteroorlê en kapituleer, wat toe die A-liga van dieCurriebeker gaan staan en verower het.

Dan weet ons ook dat die dryfkrag agter die Kings baie politieke steun het, en dat dit heel waarskynlik nie soseer oor rugby sal gaan nie. As hulle dan moet, kan daar gekyk word na ‘n uitspeelwedstryd, maar ek twyfel of dit aanvaarbaar sal wees, want die Kings het, op huidige vorm, geen kans om enige van die bestaande Superspanne te klop nie.

Soos elke jaar glo ons maar weer: watch ons volgende jaar.

Maans Maanse se Moordkuil
As hy moet kies tussen Bryce Lawrence en Julius Malema, dan vat hy, onder protes, vir Paddy O’Brien, seg Maans.

Of dalk nie, want die Kiwi’s se verdagte sin vir regverdigheid is nou finaal in sy maai na die aanwys van Bryce as hul skuitsregter van die jaar – seker vir al die hoendermis wat hy aangejaag het. Glo “stage fright” gekry in die berugte toets tussen SA en die Aussies. Meer soos “lock-eye” as mens Manie kan glo.

Hy sou, as hy ‘n Kiwi was, ook vir Lawrence as Ref van die jaar aangewys het. Was dit nie vir sy vertoning nie, sou die All Blacks dalk teen die Springbokke in die finaal moes speel. As mens kyk hoe hulle geploeter het om Frankryk met een punt te klop, wonder mens wat teen die Bokke sou gebeur het?

Mens moet maar aanbeweeg, vergewe en vergeet, fokus op die toekoms. Ou Manie reken hy is reg om Lawrence te vergewe, hy moet nog net besluit watter gif om te gebruik.

Mooi week, ou Grote.

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