Mulder: There’s still all to play for despite Cricket SA shambles
JOHANNESBURG - As Cricket South Africa’s administrators drag the sport they are supposed to be running through the mud the players, for now, will try to play on.
The Mzansi Super League returns to Gauteng for the first time since CSA tried to hurl a hand grenade onto the sport last weekend, but whether today’s match at Centurion between the Tshwane Spartans and Jozi Stars will even take place, is something Mother Nature may determine.
The early forecasts about her mood for this evening are not good; clouds initially and then rain later with temperatures more akin to winter than summer. And then whether any play is possible or not, there is the now genuine concern about whether the tournament will be finished at all, in light of yesterday’s news that the players union, the SA Cricketers’ Association, have called a meeting for tomorrow where the “possibility of the players taking some form of industrial, or protest, action,” will be discussed.
That could make for a strange atmosphere at Centurion, but these are strange and deeply worrying times for SA cricket.
Ignoring everything that is happening around the sport at the moment is impossible. But for today at least the players will try to do that.
Looked at in isolation Mzansi Super League is heading for an exciting conclusion. Only the Stars, still in search of a first win in the tournament, are out of contention for a playoff spot.
The Spartans have had their play-off hopes hampered by back-to-back defeats against the Cape Town Blitz and Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. From being in a position where they controlled their own destiny, now it’s very much out of the hands, and even more so should the weather intervene today.
The Spartans have been inconsistent in all departments; Dean Elgar and Theunis de Bruyn have lost form and both were dropped in Port Elizabeth, and the bowling which has struggled at times in the powerplay period but then recovered later did well in the powerplay in PE and then struggled later. The fielding was horrible too, and while there is no time to work on that aspect of their play given the short turnaround and travel between matches, it will certainly be at the top of the list of topics that need urgent discussion before play today
“There’s still all to play for,” young Wiaan Mulder, who made a half-century at the top of the order on Tuesday said. “It doesn’t help if we sulk about it. We need to keep working and make sure the next time we get the opportunity to win, we take it.”@shockerhess