From the Stands

By Adam Wakefield

I am sitting in a lecture and things are not going well. My eyes battle the beer fatigue as my lecturer drones on about structural causes in wombat mating rituals. Suddenly, hope! Bill, the class clown, decides that he has a theory that he feels would benefit the entire class in assisting our mental development. Bill speaks, and when he is finished the class has a chuckle since it was yet another stupid idea.

 The scenario I have described is a piece of fiction, but all of us as suffering students have all experienced some schmuck whose reputation is built on the tears of lecturers and tutors. Various sports also pose opportunities for a quick word. Cricket is a sport  immersed in verbal jousting and muck-raking. Wicketkeepers especially are prone to having a word. Mark Boucher, always one to take the piss and wink at the same time, has recently come out in support of Jacques Kallis, who is upset that he wasn’t picked for he 20/20 World Cup squad. Cricket South Africa has called Boucher to a disciplinary hearing for his comments as well as leaving him out of the squad for three one-day matches against Zimbabwe. I don’t think Boucher’s complaining much about not visiting Bob up north.

I do not agree with Boucher being given a finger wagging session by his employers. Disciplining Boucher sends the wrong  message to professional cricketers in South Africa, where having an opinion is seen as detrimental rather then beneficial. I would rather have a room full of crazy pandas then that of well-disciplined chairs. The pandas make for much better entertainment.

 Should Kallis have been picked? I think so. A world class all-rounder remains so no matter what form of the game they play. Kallis would have been an asset to Graeme Smith on the field with his vast experience and unflappable temperament. The reason I suspect Jacques Kallis, South Africa’s highest run scorer in One Day Internationals, was omitted was the myth that was generated at this years World Cup.

Kallis was accused of being too pedestrian in upping his scoring rate to the savage standards that characterize today’s modern  runrates. I do not for one second believe that ‘busy schedule’ nonsense. The players have been resting for 3 months and a 20/20 tournament isn’t exactly as taxing as a 5 day Test match.

Finally, on a different note, this will be my last column for Activate. Activate’s staff has changed and it is now time for a different perspective from the stands. I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts as much as I enjoyed writing them, especially on a Saturday morning. If you cracked a grin or a smile to these words at least once and learnt a little bit about sport, I have done as I meant to. My final word: The Spingboks are going to win the Rugby World Cup. Cheers to that!


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