at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
It was Yorkshire Day on Wednesday. Time for black pudding, Yorkshire pudding and flat caps. And a few ales. An opportunity to commemorate all that was good about Yorkshire.
These parts may be divorced from all the excitement in London, but then again Yorkshire has always been a bit “different”.
Life does move a little slower here – that’s easy, because there can’t be too many places in as much of a rush as London is, never mind the Olympics being in town.
Yorkshiremen are also “mad on cricket”.
Fiercely proud of its history, Yorkshire County Cricket Club doesn’t shy away from reminding you of its past – it’s right there on one of the main gates leading into Headingley Carnegie Stadium. At various grounds around England, even in the West Indies, and certainly in Australia, various stands, or gates are named after popular players.
Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, has stands commemorating Sir Garfield Sobers, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Malcolm Marshall. At the Adelaide Oval, the Chappell brothers have a stand named after them. In England, The Oval has a gate named for Alec Stewart, but Headingley has probably the most elaborate gate of the lot named in honour of Sir Leonard Hutton. It contains an outline of the great man playing a shot, and welded into the wrought iron are his Test statistics.
They do know how to celebrate their cricketers in this part of the world. It is understandable, given the game’s origins, but unlike here, South Africa contains very few reminders of past players. There are no stands or gates named after former players. In fact but for the Khaya Majola Week, little else exists to commemorate players of the past. That of course has plenty to do with the country’s history. South Africa’s divided past means it’s always been something of a touchy subject.
But the country has been back playing international cricket for 22 years, and there have been some noteworthy players, who have completed careers that deserve recognition.
It would be hard to imagine Hansie Cronjé having something named after him, but for retired players such as Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini and Mark Boucher the unions of KwaZulu-Natal and Border need to seriously consider honouring them.
The current side are creating history of their own. You’d expect Kingsmead to create some sort of commemoration for the country’s first Triple Test centurion, while Newlands must surely be getting the paint prepared for the JH Kallis Stand. – The Star