Café Roux and the MCC Masi 750 Club host “Is Cricket in Crisis?”

A topical cricket evening discussion was held at Café Roux earlier this month to discuss the media storm surrounding ball tampering, physical contact and sledging in cricket led by Vince van der Bijl – project manager of the MCC Masi 750 Sports Club. The evening was also used to increase the awareness of the successful MCC Masi 750 Sports Club’s progress in the Ukhanyo primary school in Masiphumelele.

It was a night! 160 people attended to listen to the views of ex-Protea players Peter Kirsten, Brian Mc Millan and Justin Kemp and ex cricketers Andre Bruyns and Denys Hobson. Tom Dawson-Squib did a wonderful job of ringmaster!

Videos of Shahid Afridi and Faf du Plessis ball tampering, Stokes/Johnson contact (one of them!), Kallis sportingly walking after asking the fielder whether he caught it, and the unsporting debacle in the 2011 WC run out in the NZ vs SA quarter final added spice to the evening and gave the discussion context.

The evening illustrated the wide divergent views on these issues – i.e. from Steve Smith should have a life ban to a reprimand!

  • The only agreement was that cricket was not in crisis and ball tampering had been going on for more than 100 years – however the action should be better handled by the umpires and the Laws better explained.
  • Cricket  just needs reflection and adjustment to the more modern wealthier business game it has become
  • No-one wants a sterile game . We have to realize that cricket now is a business with  money flowing to the players and that produced a win at all cost attitude which pushed against the boundaries of good sportsmanship. The game and spirit of the game had bolted so a fresh look at cricket was required to bring a level of sportsmanship back to the game.
  • Discussion centered around Test cricket to be strength vs strength and the fact that even though T20 is in realty a very forgettable format the crowds flocked in – the millennial reaction to an instant gratification requirement?
  • Captains are the ones who can lead the game to a better environment; their responsibility. Coaches and senior pros too. Umpires must be yes, more consistent, but tougher.

The evening raised more questions as these evenings do – however, it was a great night thanks to the crowd, ex-cricketers and the great food and service of Café Roux.

Many thanks John and Paul le Roux for your support as always. The Ukhanyo sports development project was shared by Vince which created interest and a positive response to the call for donations and support.

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