Kalenjin tribe can teach us a thing or two
The Kalenjin tribe of Kenya’s Rift Valley are famous for their dominance of long-distance running, numerous world and Olympic champions having come from their population of about five million, a staggering statistical anomaly that has had sports scientists scrambling to study them.
While scientists have pointed to a complex interaction between genetic and socio-economic factors for their success, the Kalenjin runners are also famous for their stoicism and endurance. It is that combined with natural abilities, that makes them world-beaters. They use the word “tai” as an exhortation to keep going forward and they certainly do just that.
Much of the work on the persevering, “no gain without pain” Kalenjin has been done at the University of Cape Town and perhaps the cricket fraternity based in the city that enjoys the best standard of living in the country needs to go and study up on key traits for sporting success like determination and not blaming your failures on your opposition.
The RamSlam T20 Challenge final takes place today in Centurion and some of the Cape Cobras management and media seem to believe that they are not there due to some incredible conspiracy that involves the Titans and the weather conspiring against them.
Never mind the fact that the star-studded Cobras team did not win their first three games and then threw away a winning position in their last round-robin match, where victory would have seen them hosting the semifinal against the Dolphins that was washed out on Thursday evening in Durban.
As the 2019 World Cup nears and the mental fortitude of our players is once again put under the most ruthless of microscopes, it is alarming that many of our Proteas are playing in an environment where excuse-making, blaming others and even accusing other teams of match-fixing is encouraged.
The Titans, by topping the table by miles, earned the right to prepare for their semifinal in whatever manner they saw fit, and they decided to spare their leading players the exertions of travelling to Cape Town to play yesterday, then to Durban to play on tomorrow and then returning to Centurion on Monday, leaving just one day to prepare for the knockout match.
Such are the rewards for performance and they should be praised for the high standards they have brought to the competition, not tainted by slanderous allegations in the Cape that they were involved in some sort of match-fixing.
Instead of trying to bring everyone down to their under-performing standards, the Cobras, who have a wealth of talent at their disposal, should rather be focused on bridging the gap between themselves and the Titans.
In keeping with the sore losers image they are cultivating so well in Cape Town, some of their media were quick to jump all over the Titans for only fielding five players of colour in their semifinal win over the Warriors, due to Henry Davids mangling his knee shortly before the toss.
The word from Cricket South Africa is that there will be no action taken against the Titans because the move was cleared by the head of their transformation committee, Max Jordaan, beforehand. It was a common sense decision because four minutes before the toss is hardly the time to rush someone in from outside the squad without a warm-up.
There was no complaint from the Warriors, either, but there will always be that element in the Western Cape that knows better, watching from their vantage point behind the mountain.
It seems there will always be the haters in SA sport when a team enjoys prolonged success.