Prepare for SA cricket sadness
LUNGANI ZAMA Durban
It has been tough week at Kingsmead. During the peak of Tuesday’s storm, the entire playing field was under water, parts of the car-park were in knee-high water, and the gym resembled a swimming pool.
There were also concerns about how the new roof on the presidential suite would hold up to winds of up to 80km/h, but thankfully that held up to the test. Practice for the rest of the week has to be in Maritzburg – a 45 minute trek each way – as all the turf wickets in the Durban area resemble sludge.
And yet, despite all that, the biggest downer at Kingsmead this week was the news that the T20 Global League was postponed for a year, at least.
“I think that South African cricket will be plunged into a bit of a depression after that,” Dolphins coach Grant Morgan sighed.
“There was definitely a buzz around training, because it is very exciting. I just hope that no one has committed themselves to anything financially,” Morgan added.
“You know, like signing a lease that moves you from Berea to Umhlanga, because you expected a big pay cheque to be coming in soon. I think the challenge now is to be the team that reacts best to the situation, because the season has to go on,” Morgan pointed out.
That much is true, and the Dolphins will be looking to senior players like Vaughn van Jaarsveld to find another gear, and another source of inspiration.
“It’s obviously disappointing, but those are discussions that are beyond our pay grade now,” Van Jaarsveld mused.
“We just have to concentrate on playing cricket, because that is what we are paid to do.”
Of course, every player who was signed up at the draft will be paid a lot less than they had envisaged for December after the postponement of the tournament earlier this week.
On a wider scale, it is anticipated that he South African Cricketers’ Association will seek compensation for players, while marquee overseas players like Kevin Pietersen and Chris Gayle may well be exploring their legal options.
The figure of over R300 million that Cricket South Africa have already spent may well swell towards the half a billion mark if they are saddled with a stream of bills by wouldbe players, suppliers and support staff.
The sun shone in Durban on Wednesday and yesterday, and dried much of the devastation that the storm of Tuesday wreaked.
But, if you speak to players around the indoor centre at Kingsmead, at the canteen and at the freshly mopped gym, the effects of Tuesday’s other grim offering are only just setting in.
READY FOR A SPIN: Imran Tahir and South Africa will begin their earnest build towards the World Cup from this weekend.