IPL is killing the Proteas

2013-07-25 12:21
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I'm no writer, but I am a passionate Proteas supporter! Always have been, always will be!
I remember waking up in the early hours of the morning to watch my hero's take on Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup, I managed to stay awake and actually saw the famous Jonty Rhodes run-out to dismiss Ul-Haq. Ever since, I defend them, I rejoice with them and I have cried with them. But lately the Proteas seem to have lost that shine and I hate to say it but I don't enjoy watching them as much as I used to. I have a few opinions as to why they are not the same anymore.
I will be hated for saying this but I personally think the worst thing to happen to Cricket is the IPL. It's a whores handbag of messy scrappy cricket that represents very little of the actual talent out there. Unfortunately it has also given too many cricketers an illusion of grandeur! I watch in horror as Dale Steyn tweets photos of himself in the US filming with Adam Sandler while his NATIONAL team embarrasses themselves against a fair Sri Lankan side. Not only Dale Steyn but Jacques Kallis as well. Now I understand that these guys are busy and need to rest and have to find some kind of balance in their life's and they deserve that. But very seldom do you see supportive tweets or messages coming from the likes of these guys for their NATIONAL team while they are not there. Dale Steyn will have the nerve to tweet about how good the waves are during a Proteas game, does that mean he's not even watching? That to me is shocking! Where is the passion? Why do these guys not mind missing NATIONAL games?
I cannot see the likes of Alan Donald or Jonty Rhodes back in the day deciding to give the games a skip because they're tired from the IPL. Your first choice should always be your NATIONAL team. The fans pick up on the lack of passion and it ripples through the team as well. What the IPL has done, is strengthen the Sub Continents quality of cricket and dwindled the rest. I like the likes of Chris Morris and his passion shines through in every way but I fear that the culture in the team at the moment doesn't allow him to build on that passion and therefore before we know it, it's gone! SA Cricketers need to understand that their passion should always be for their country. Jacques Kallis never has a good word to say about the cricket, instead his passion seems to be Fancourt and Mark Boucher. To be honest, I would rather not see him in the side at the moment. I'm not sure his sub levels of passion will be good for the new guys!
Mickey Arthur was the start of the decline in the Proteas team, Australia realized this soon enough and got rid of him. Since Arthur's days, the team seemed to run on auto-pilot with the likes of Kallis, Smith, Boucher, Steyn, De Villiers running the show. In all fairness, how to you expect a very mediocre cricketer in his day to coach what I believe to be the best all round cricketer and best bowler in the world! I don't think he did! Kirsten was great but not there long enough to change the culture and now with the appointment of Domingo it seems we have come full circle again, with a coach who has never played at international level. How does he tell Kallis to change something? Seriously? I hope I am wrong about Domingo but only time will tell.......
With all that said and done, I believe the biggest problem of all is selection, should this issue be sorted out and understood then the rest will fall into place an passion shall be restored! Andrew Hudson in his day was one of my hero's. That 163 against the West Indies was magnificent and I subsequently forced my Mother to go out and buy me a 5 Star Lazer bat just like him. he was a typical opening batsmen with an incredible amount of patience and would very often play the anchor role. That's great, but now he's the convener of selectors! OOH eh eh! South Africa has in my opinion the best talent in the world but that mean nothing if they never get their chance. Why are likes of Vernon Philander and Quinton De Kock not in the ODI setup? Why? They say VP is a test bowler and the lengths are different. Yes they are, but we have a very capable intelligent bowler who I'm quite sure can change his lengths to suit the format, not only is he remarkable as a wicket taker but passionate and no doubt will feed the young guys that passion.
Quinton de Kock is too young they say and they need to break him in properly. As far as I am aware Sachin Tendulkar was only 16 when he played for India the first time, many said he was too young but it took the balls of the selectors to give him that chance and 21 years on they are still smiling. These balls I'm afraid elude Andrew Hudson and I'm afraid we'll never see them. I remember an in form Vaughan Van Jaarsveld been kept on the sidelines and been forced to bring water and gloves to the guys on the field. All this while he got no exposure to actual playing. This doesn't make sense to me, so he's in the form of his life and smashing the domestic bowlers to pieces, so let's make him 12th man for a few months and then expect him to perform only when the others don't. Setting young players up to fail seems to be the MO at the moment and we will lose many players that way. Players should only be judged on their last 6-8 performances and should be selected on the same criteria. Contracts and money unfortunately do not allow for that any more and we are stuck with players that are constantly trying to regain form instead of showcasing their talents to the world!
I will always be a fan of the Proteas, I will shout and swear when you do something stupid, but I will also always be there to support you when you need it. The CSA and the players seem to have to whole Cricket SA hierarchy system backwards. At the moment the fans sit on the bottom of the totem pole and have no say. Not much support at the grounds lends itself to the fact that it can sometimes be a very expensive day out for the family but also, who wants to go watch the same players under-performing week after week? The fans feel like they have no voice, kind of like how we feel about the Government, no say, just pay your taxes and deal with it.
I will no doubt be reprimanded for not been a "true fan". There is no truer fan and please don't mistake my issues as negative and derogatory, I am truly passionate and cannot wait to see the Proteas reclaim that passion and get back to their winning ways! I hope this comes soon...

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