The last time I was in the executive dining rooms in Block A at the Nedbank headquarters in Sandton, I was asked to leave by two security guards. I was dressed to the nines in shorts, takkies and a T-shirt, for a function to announce the field for the Nedbank Golf Challenge. I was the only one in shorts. I was the only one in a T-shirt. I was the only one in takkies. The guard said there had been a complaint about my dress code. I replied there was no such dress code on the invitation. There might have been. I never read past the time and date, and the bit that says, “drinks and snacks will be served”.
We had a quick exchange, which went nowhere. The two then proceeded to begin to march me off the premises. I looked around for help, and a few metres away, spotted Andy Scott and Greg Garden of Nedbank laughing fit to choke. As stitch-ups go, it was one of the best.
The way to a cricket board’s heart is through its pockets, and on Wednesday the Bangladesh Cricket Board, one of those who had opposed the position paper foisted upon the members of the ICC and world cricket, folded. And then there were three – South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
The next round of “negotiations” with the dissenters have already begun. This is no negotiation, according to what an insider from one of the Big Three told ESPN Cricinfo, but a bargaining to see just how much it is going to cost them to buy votes.
On Saturday ESPNcricinfo senior editor Sharda Ugra wrote of how the BCCI would, along with Cricket Australia and the ECB, hope to push through the position paper that, depending on what country you came from, would either transform cricket for the better or turn it into an exclusive club for the gang of three.
“A BCCI official at the working committee meeting called its outcome: ‘formalising dadagiri’,” wrote Ugra. “The word dadagiri roughly translates to: bullying or throwing your weight around, the BCCI’s calling card these days. The formalised dadagiri is now expected to take place in cahoots with two other heavies. Should this proposal go through – and there appears every chance that it will – the ECB and Cricket Australia will have vetoed their own claims of being cricket’s responsible, forward-thinking global leaders.”
Bullies become such because of their strength, size and the fear others have for them.
STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION SOUTH AFRICA, MR FIKILE APRIL MBALULA, MP, ON THE OCCASION OF THE MEDIA CONFERENCE TO CONGRATULATE THE GROWLING LIONS OF SOUTH AFRICA, 25 JANUARY 2015
“We stand here this morning as a proud and confident nation imbued by the resounding thrashing, walloping and gregarious defeat of the Marion Island national football Team in Ethekwini by the our astonishing and call-heading warriors the Growling Lions, the crown jewel of the nation of the most popular sport in our country and the world over.
There will come a time, one day, when the sports ministry, Sascoc or someone will get around to telling us who paid for Floyd Mayweather to visit South Africa. Perhaps it will happen when the first young boxer from the Dube club in Soweto goes into a ring, wins and tells the world that almost getting trained by Mayweather during his 30-minute visit to the club had inspired him.
Until then, we will have deafening silence from pretty much everyone on the visit of a man who has $120-million (about R1,3-billion) in one bank account, does not wear the same pair of boxer shorts or takkies twice, has been undefeated in 45 fights, was born with an incredible talent and has developed a quite single-minded dedication to his job, and that nagging conviction for beating up his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his children because she dared to date another man.