Cricket writer Stuart Hess can be found @shockerhess on twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Last Friday the Central Gauteng Lions - the union that is based at the Wanderers - released a statement talking about its Annual General Meeting being “adjourned”.

It was a lengthy statement, at times convoluted, talking about things like a “transitional period”, and “recommendations of the Langa Commission”, the “Memorandum of Incorporation”, and an “ad hoc committee”, and, and, and

A great many sports administrators - presidents, chief executives and club secretaries - in this country are just exhausting. Are they really in their positions because they care about their sport - as in genuinely, selflessly care for the sport - or is it for some kind of glorification of their ego?

In this country, I often feel it’s the latter.

The adjournment of Central Gauteng Cricket’s AGM, is case of pettiness so extreme it makes one concerned for the future of cricket in the country.

It can be really depressing.

And then you’re sitting on the couch two days later watching television, and on a bright and unusually hot day in northern England, a frankly ridiculous conclusion to a Test match is playing out, that makes you realise, ultimately, administrators don’t matter - sort of.

It’s the sport on the field that does. The skill, technique and bravado of players.

A reverse pull for six, a conventional sweep for six off a fast bowler or a deliciously worked flick for ‘two’ on the leg-side.

There was also the fact that Ben Stokes - who pulled off all that - then barely recognised his own milestone in reaching a century. What did an individual hundred matter if his team lost?

Couple that innings with his remarkable effort with the ball two days earlier when he bowled 15 consecutive overs in the final session of the second day’s play, carrying an extra load when his teammate Jofra Archer had to leave the field with an injury.

That selflessness, is a lesson to administrators.

It was an innings, that created tension and drama on Sunday evening, that reminded you why you love cricket.

Not because of “ad hoc committees”, and commissions and a “Memorandum of Incorporation”. You love cricket, any sport for that matter, because just when you think you have it figured out, that ‘the game must be over now’, it’ll shock you, leave you breathless and on the brink of tears.

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That’s what administrators should work toward: giving people the opportunity to do that.

If they’re not, if they’re only worried about commissions, recommendations and inflating their own egos, they should leave. They do sport no good.

Stokes did his team, his sport and his country plenty of good on Sunday. An incredible turnaround from a year ago, where his future as a professional hung in the balance.

There are lessons in that.

But do those supposedly running sport, have the wisdom to learn them?


The Star

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