Yesterday was the first day of e-tolls in Gauteng. It was also the first day of a nightmare for cyclists in the province, where the back roads became main roads, alternatives to residents tired of being lumped with yet more taxes and suspicious of just who was benefiting from the monies clipped from their bank accounts by disco gantries and Comical Alli.
For while the freeways and byways of Joburg have been smoothed and widened, the roads in the city and suburbs of the city are pitted and potholed, and will, inevitably, become worse.
On a day early in November, during the India tour of South Africa in 1992, Ravi Shastri had a net at the PAM Brink Stadium in Springs. His teammates were taking on the Combined Bowl XI, a team made up from players of the smaller unions of the then United Cricket Board.
A former school friend of mine, David Mills, then with Eastern Transvaal, and a few other youngsters were asked to bowl to Shastri.
On Wednesday evening, Pakistan fans around the world celebrated their first-ever bilateral ODI series victory in South Africa. As quick as some were to castigate South Africa for the manner of their loss, there were many who remembered to sing the praises of the only homeless international nation. Winning away from home probably isn’t all that special for Pakistan these days. They have to win all their matches away from home.
Yesterday, it was reported that the Pakistan Taliban has warned the Pakistan media to stop singing the praises of Sachin Tendulkar. Shahidullah Shahid, the spokesperson of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban, appears in a video “flanked by two AK-47 wielding masked men”, and tells the Pakistan media he has his eye on them.
“It was unfortunate to see Pakistani media went to great extent to pay tribute to Indian cricketer by running video clips on TV channels and writing huge articles in his praise. On the other hand, it was sad to know same Pakistani media badly criticised Pakistani cricket team as well as its captain Misbah-ul-Haq. We condemn this move of Pakistani media and expect it will not repeat the same in future,” said Shahidullah Shahid, according to the Indian press. “Shame for Pakistani media that spoke highly of Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. No doubt, he has been a great cricketer, but, he’s Indian after all, so stop promoting him.”
In a small, short and private ceremony at the Swellendam Show Grounds on Saturday, the Hot Chillee cycling team presented teammate Nicholas Dlamini with the cheque the squad had just received for finishing in third place at the 203km Coronation Double Century. It was not a huge amount of money, R5 000 in total, but the Hot Chillee riders decided unanimously that it would be better served donated to the 18-year-old Dlamini than divvied up into pocket money for the rest of them.
There was no song, no dance, no shouting it from the rooftops. You had to be there to see it.
The Brisbane Courier-Mail’s attempt to give Stuart Broad the silent treatment backfired quite spectacularly on two fronts yesterday.
Their front-page request-demand-plea not to boo Broad as he thrived on it was roundly ignored by fans fired up by beer and the desperation of an Australian team on the wane: “Our newspaper coverage will simply refer to ‘a 27-year-old English medium pace bowler’, and we will de-identify any images of him,” the paper wrote.