as it were

Let’s face it – Sport as we know it is gone. The love we have for the game is tainted by so many reactions and choices from individuals we’ve idolised.

What’s with our soccer heroes gracing the pages of Rolling Stones more than Brangelina or our political leaders crippling the motivation to fill up Rugby stadiums? Yeah, sport as we’d like to remember is dead and buried.

Be it as it may, we still take our vuvuzela’s, brace the cold and give the ‘Ultimate Fan’ thing a go. Superbru is sky-rocking. Hell, Vodacom is still making as much money out ‘Player 23’ as with BlackBerry contracts.

Yes, we put aside the grating political influence, proudly put our replicas on and chirp the next person for not supporting same team. No one knows this better than me and my sport loving boss, who celebrates Football Fridays in blue, with a big Chelsea grin, while I (and the rest of her family) insolently proclaim ‘This is Anfield: I Will Never Walk Alone’.

And when we return to the office on a Monday conversations begin with Cheetahs vs Bulls. Yes we bury the hatches, forget Tiger’s infidelity, and stand oblivious to Micheal Phelps, Marianne Jones’ or even Bakkies’ stupidity.

We swear at government for their meddling, scream our lungs out at having to wave goodbye to the Super 14 only for a (long) while and will eventually forgive the Boks for their poor Tri-Nations campaign, because as exasperated as we may be by these, at the back of our supporting mind, the game is still as it should be. At least would be.

That is more than I can say for cricket, however.

The most popular game in the Eastern and Western Cape. A discipline that sees 7/10 Indian or Pakistan households fed is forever lost. Its credibility belongs only to the History Channel.

A land where 666666’s are the miracles of the game; The splendour of hat-tricks. A museum of super-overs. Sheer sanctuary of clashes between giants like SA, Australia, Pakistan, India or England that guarantee a spectacular heartache, but money’s worth for the avid lover of the game.

A history of unsung heroes ordained by roars of crowds with what seems to be more passion than from the ones in batting helmets. Yeah. That era has ceased with a vinyl and in its place are carbon copies of broken cd’s worth the bottom of a street kid’s shoe.

While some parts of the world have joined SA for the exciting Airtel Champions T20, trouble began to brew in England, who is busy with a series against Pakistan.

The series has produced allegations of match fixing by now suspended Pakistanis. Last week a cloud began to descend upon the English when injury-prone Andrew Flintoff hung his bat up for good.

This week assembled an even greater distress, when reports that they (England) are not above match-fixing. Of course this sent Andrew Strauss and his cronies over the edge.

However, we in SA know a thing or two about smokes and fires. Whether the allegations are legit or just that, allegations is another blog, but what this means is the series is now farce that needs to be scrapped.

Cricket is not cricket but rather a massacre of greed and lies killing dreams of many around the world. Hansie Cronje (R.I.P), it seems planted a seed that is growing like unwanted weed, producing a generation that has undermined the value of the game, paving a way for endless uncertainties.

Will we ever grace cricket stadia without questioning the legitimacy of the game? Will the great Tendukar be above our scrutiny? Is Rusty Theron’s great bowling a result of his form or a lost bet?

Can Shahid Khan Afridi reach a century and claim a MOM award without raising an eyebrow? Will James Anderson ever be allowed to have a ‘bad’ game? God forbid Mark Boucher misses a run-out.

May the Great Almighty have mercy on Graeme Smith in 2011, for we will raise more than a flick of an eyebrow should the Proteas emulate the Boks’ Tri-Nations Campaign.

KP tweet…twit

Kevin Pietersen brought the entire world to a stand still with a four letter word, displaying his gloominess over being axed from England’s limited-overs squad to face Pakistan.

In the process managed to accomplish what (not even) the death of a Tour de France champ Laurent Fignon couldn’t; removed Pakistan’s match fixing scandal from many sporting fans’ lips (if only for a few hours)

Eish Boet

Pakistan Cricket has been a worldwide trending topic since Bees Roux found himself facing a murder charge and fellow Bulls- Victor Matfield – became the first South African to claim a 100th test victory.

The news reached my distressed ears at 2:46 am, while hitting the club scene in Polokwane.

My team and I were celebrating our 2010 VSA Cup Silver with a fellow Jozi team (Quantum), who won the Gold in the men category, affirming once again that ‘Nothing Good Happens after 2AM’.

As I read the tweets, I firmly believed the Rhapsody barman had spiked my drink (this couldn’t be!). Just as convinced, was the company I kept – while showcasing why many have claimed BlackBerry users do not know how to part with their phones.

Only to have Sky News, Guardian Sport (etc) attest to the fact I had nothing to fear from the staff and coach’s tequila had not gone to my head, but Hansie’ name would be uttered once more.

Back to impulsive kevinpp24 (his twitter name). His tweet was there and gone faster than Bolt’ stride, but unfortunately the ‘retweet’ function, for the world’s renowned like the SA born cricketer, has proven lethal (if only KP’s kid was old enough to know who Justin Bieber is, he would’ve warned dad).

And like the sprinter his tweet grabbed ‘front-pages’ with more no balls than a Pakistan bowler as he confirmed:

“Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too.. Its a f**k up!!

It’s not his exclusion from the team, than his foul-mouthed tirade to the news that, according to Neal Collins “will send shock waves reverberating through the England dressing room”

The news became an early Christmas present for a few South Africans. These included a lunch show DJ from one of SA’s popular radio station, who, if it were not for the co-host’s purposeful-distractions would’ve shared (to millions) his bed of roses over KP’s blues.

It’s no secret there is no love lost between the batsman and many South Africans, so one can be forgiven for assuming he will not be looking at his Motherland for comfort.

Although maybe he should; for his woes will only accumulate, not only is the English Cricket Board having a field day with ‘irresponsible’ twitter use, but rumour has it no county will touch the right-hander (his Surrey move is only a temp loan).

So much for ‘Proud English Cricketer’.