Sport: Onside/Offside

Sport: Onside/Offside

It’s been a good week for getting a job as a cricket coach and players being quoted out of context, while the offside section seems to be getting more cramped every week. By ANT SIMS.


Getting a job as a cricket coach

Last week it was soccer coaching jobs, this week it’s been really good for cricket coaches, at South African franchises anyway. The Dolphins announced the news everybody had known for ages and confirmed Lance Klusener as their new head coach. “Zulu” signed a two-year deal with the franchise and has been told that he needs to win silverware, or else. His mandate is not quite as demanding as a certain coach of the national team, but he has his work cut out for him. History was made when the Lions appointed Geoffrey Toyana, as he became the first black African coach in charge of a franchise. The Lions franchise has a notorious reputation when it comes to interference from the board, but Toyana is adamant that he’s not bothered and he’s raring to go. His first challenge is the Champions League, which will take place in October this year in South Africa.

Sportsmen being quoted out of context or completely misquoted

The series between South Africa and England hasn’t even started properly yet, but already the gloves are off and misquotes are flying. Jonathan Trott kicked off proceedings when his comments about  how he feels “so completely British, he prefers Birmingham to Cape Town” did the rounds and sent all those people living in their cocooned mountain state into a rabid frenzy. Trott added that every time he has returned to Cape Town lately, he hasn’t really enjoyed it, which is odd, considering how British he feels and how much the British love holidaying in Cape Town. Nevertheless, the interview seemed innocent and simply like Trott was trying too hard when read as a whole, but selected quotes were used in the odd publication and Cape Town folk created a storm in a green tea cup. Just a few days later, and Dale Steyn had apparently said that South Africa doesn’t need Trott or Kevin Pietersen anyway, and that he hopes they enjoy playing for England when they are second in the Test rankings. Steyn said that he was misquoted, but of course the fabled words had spread and everybody was worked up and debating his comments with vigor. Under normal circumstances, these two instances would land themselves under the Offside section, but they land themselves under the happy part, purely because of their entertainment value. And to save this column from looking incredibly cynical.

Photo – offside: John Terry arrives at the court.


Footballers who spend their time in court

John Terry’s trial has started, and while he has insisted that he’s innocent and he was merely being “sarcastic” when he allegedly called Anton Ferdinand some choice expletives, Twitter – and presumably the courtroom, was in hysterics when those reporting from the trial said that Ferdinand was asked to show what a “gesture of sexual intercourse” looks like. Ashley Cole, who testified in defence of Terry, was also made to say the c-word out loud in front of the judge. Those with no knowledge of the situation and who are merely following the Tweets might think that it’s a bad re-enactment of Judge Judy, made especially for government-funded television channels in South Africa.

Retiring wicketkeepers

Mark Boucher’s career was brought to an abrupt halt due to a serious eye injury sustained during a warm-up match in England. Boucher had to undergo emergency surgery and was forced to return home. The severity of the injury means he’ll never play international cricket again, and he announced his retirement on Tuesday. Just a day before Boucher’s retirement, Tatenda Taibu of Zimbabwe also announced his retirement at the age of 29. There’s no injury tragedy in this case, though; Taibu wants to focus on his role in the church.

Bafana Bafana’s sponsorship deals

Bafana Bafana finally managed to extend their sponsorship deal with SA Brewers, after the previous contract expired four months ago. The renewal, which will pair the two up until 2017, is worth R150 million. The deal is significantly lower than the R250-million deal which the South African Football Association pocketed over the previous five-year period. It’s a good thing they don’t have a plethora of newly appointed technical staff to pay. Oh, wait. DM

Main photo – onside: Lance Klusener is the new head coach of the Dolphins.


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