Yesterday morning, before he led his teammates on to the Kingsmead pitch for the first day of his final Test, Jacques Kallis showed how years of experience have taught the great man to hone down his fielding warm-ups only to what is absolutely necessary. He took three slip catches and then bowled two deliveries.
Shaun Pollock, who told that story during commentary for SuperSport yesterday morning, said he told Kallis that after all these years he knew how to bat and catch, and at his age he didn’t want to overdo it! Kallis probably also didn’t want to overdo the hullabaloo of the announcement of his retirement, making it know on Christmas Day, when most of the country’s newspapers were taking a festive break.
The length of the queue for beer at the only bar open near the Unity Stand on the first day of the Test match between South Africa and India at the Wanderers on Wednesday, was only matched by the length of the one to buy the tokens needed for beer.
Well, by beer I mean portable pressurised-fire-extinguishing-cans, and by bar I mean portable pressurised-fire-extinguishing-cans tuckshop. By tokens I mean following the correct procurement structures and processes.
On the pavement outside 44 Stanley in Milpark early yesterday morning, three car guards stood and sat, listening to a radio broadcast of the funeral of the father of the nation. One, who sometimes gets a tad stoned in the afternoon, waved hello at me, pointed at the radio and shrugged his shoulders. There were no words.
Thirty metres away, at the hairdressers inside the shopping centre, a man was having his head shaved, risking cuts as the man with the clippers watched the procession of Madiba’s casket out of the corner of his eye on the TV in the corner. If you see a man with an unevenly shaved head walking around Johannesburg today, that was a man who decided to get his hair cut at the very wrong time.
Any day now, the message must surely come through that the BCCI will be cancelling the rest of the tour of South Africa. Haroon Lorgat, the CEO of Cricket South Africa, was spotted in the president’s suite at SuperSport Park. The horror.
To make it worse, he then walked down on to the actually field of play, using, wait for it, the exact same stairs the Indian players had used when they walked on and then off the field after Quinton de Kock had scored his third century on the trot against them.