Tony Becca: Speak the truth, and speak it ever

first_imgThe first Test between the West Indies and Australia ended in an easy, comfortable, convincing, and one-sided innings and 212-run victory for Australia. It ended inside three of the scheduled five days, and regardless of what anyone says, Australian or West Indian, it was pretty predictable. The West Indies, ranked number eight, went to Australia after hardly winning a match away from home since 1995 and only winning a few matches against the good teams at home since then. They lost two Test matches to Australia in the West Indies this year, one match by nine wickets, and the other by 277 runs, after Australia had declared at 212 for two in their second innings. And against a new-look Sri Lanka only recently, they also lost 2-0, one by an innings and six runs, and one by 72 runs. That was a defeat which was so humiliating that it left the incomparable Garry Sobers almost in tears. And after arriving in Australia, and playing against a Cricket Australia XI, a team with an average age of 21 and comprising six players making their first-class debut, they lost the game by 10 wickets with time to spare after the Australians eased to 13 without loss in their second innings. With such a record going into the Test match, it was difficult, or unrealistic, for anyone, friend or foe, to expect anything better when they tackled the number two-ranked team in the world, especially in their own backyard and with the likes of David Warner and Steven Smith, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, and Nathan Lyon. The West Indies, fortunately, did not have to face either Mitchell Johnson, who has surprisingly retired, or Mitchell Starc, who is injured. It mattered little, or very little. Australia broke almost every record, and quite comfortably at that. They batted first, after they had won the toss, and after Jason Holder had said he would have bowled first had he won the toss. They chipped to a mammoth 583 for four declared, after sliding to 121 for three, with a rousing fourth-wicket partnership of 449, not by Warner and Smith but by Adam Voges, 269 not out off 285 deliveries, and Shaun Marsh, 182, and then bundled the West Indies out for 223 and 148. In defeat, the West Indies did not seem worthy of being on the same field with Australia, and not for the first time in recent times, they looked out of place in a Test arena. At the start of the first day, the Aussie batsmen drove on both sides of the wicket and cut and pulled with relish, after tea on the same day they made merry when Romel Warrican, Kraigg Brathwaite, and Jermaine Blackwood were entrusted with the bowling, and on the last day, it was really embarrassing day as West Indian wickets tumbled with monotonous regularity. On that first day, the Australians sprinted to 70 without loss while stroking 15 of the 51 boundaries in the day’s play in the first 60 minutes, the four West Indies pacers bowled a total of only 48 overs between them, and Australia romped to 438 for three and to the highest total on any day in the history of Test cricket. At times during the match, especially while the part-timers were bowling, the West Indies had five and six fielders on the boundary. It was simply frustrating. The only saving grace for the West Indies as Australia scored at over five runs an over throughout their innings and their bowlers cut down the Windies batsmen one by one, were the batting performances of Darren Bravo and Brathwaite, who prevented a total embarrassment by chipping in with innings of 108 and 94 respectively. And all this followed a furious burst by Curtly Ambrose against the media for speaking the truth, nothing but the truth. Ambrose, the technical adviser, and the bowling coach, attempted to lambast the Australians for all their talk of a weak West Indies team. He was on the warpath, before the Test match, or appeared to be. The man who hardly uttered a word as a player, said: “We played against Australia not so long ago in the Caribbean and even though we lost 2-0 there were moments or periods when we had them on the back foot and had their backs against the wall. And we never finished them off. So we believe we can compete and not only compete but we believe we can beat them and that’s our focus, not just to compete but to win.” He also said, surprisingly: “We’re focused, and in light of what happened in the warm-up game, we are confident that we can put up a good show against Australia.” And to back up his words, he continued: “We had a meeting, we had a talk about it (the warm-up match). I explained to the guys in no uncertain terms that that’s unacceptable and if we are going to struggle against an Under-19 team how do we expect to compete against a strong Australian line-up?” Regardless of what Ambrose said, the West Indies did not win the first Test. In fact, they were beaten out of sight. He probably not only forgot the roles of Courtney Walsh, Richie Richardson, and Phil Simmons on this tour, but he also may have forgotten that he is the coach and not a player, and not a fast bowler at that. Ian Chappell, the former Australians great, said during the first day massacred of the West Indies bowlers, “regardless of what Ambrose says, this bowling is weak, very weak.” As the technical adviser, or the bowling coach of the team, Ambrose is expected to motivate the players as much as he can, especially as a former great player himself. He is not, however, expected to go overboard in his assessment of the players’ ability or their potential. He is not expected, especially as one who knows the game, to behave as if the players are better than they really are. He is expected to speak the truth, as he sees it, even if it is not really the entire truth.last_img read more

Holders Germany dumped out of World Cup

first_img0Shares0000Germany players react after a missed chance during their last Group F match against South Korea. PHOTO/FIFAKazan, Russia, Jun 27-  Germany crashed out of the World Cup on Wednesday after a stoppage-time VAR-assisted goal from Younggwon Kim and a late second by Son Heungmin earned South Korea a famous 2-0 win.The Germans needed to beat Korea by two clear goals in their final group F match at Kazan stadium to advance to the last 16. But Joachim Loew’s men wasted a series of chances in a tense match that saw a pale version of the world champions become the fourth holders of the title this century to be sent packing at the first hurdle.Germany’s team of superstars could only look on in shock in the final minutes of the match as US referee Mark Geiger called for the video assistant referee to intervene after the unmarked Kim had bundled his shot past Germany ‘keeper Manuel Neuer from a corner early in stoppage time.The goal was awarded because Toni Kroos’ touch had played him onside, and minutes later Germany were 2-0 down after Neuer ran up the pitch in a desperate attempt to get a goal.A long punt upfield saw Tottenham forward Son chase a clearance to fire into an empty net.-First timeIt means Germany, the four-time champions who had competed in the past 16 editions of the World Cup, fail to make it past the first hurdle of the tournament since 1938.Germany coach Joachim Loew caused a surprise by leaving midfield attacking stalwart Thomas Mueller on the bench for the first time since 2012 after his underwhelming displays against Mexico and Sweden.But by the end of a frustrating opening half, Loew was left desperately studying his options.Germany suffered the first of several scares after South Korea won a free kick on the quarter hour when Sami Khedira’s boot connected with the head of Jung Wooyoung.From 30 yards out, it should have been fodder for World Cup-winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but after fumbling Jung’s dipping drive Neuer scrambled desperately to clear as Son raced to pounce.Germany spurned a series of chances soon afterwards.Marco Reus, who hit a crucial leveller in the 2-1 win over Sweden, saw his drive deflected and Mesut Ozil saw his effort deflected off a Korean boot and out for a corner, after which goalkeeper Hyeonwoo Jo smothered desperately when Goretzka’s header found Hummels trying to pounce on the loose ball.-Mario Gomez inGermany resumed with more urgency after the interval, but despite edging closer when Loew introduced Mario Gomez just before the hour the big Stuttgart striker headed straight at Jo from Kimmich’s cross.Striker Timo Werner then met another Kimmich ball from the left byeline with a right-foot volley that skewed agonisingly wide of Jo’s upright.Germany urgency was not matched by their normal efficiency and soon legs started to tire.Loew played his final card when he introduced Mueller for Leon Goretzka.But the late changes failed to spark Germany into life as Korea hung on for a famous win that, unfortunately for the impressive Asians, saw them bow out after Sweden beat Mexico 3-0.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Cape Town pupils reap a healthy meal

first_imgThe garden includes 40 different varietals of vegetables and herbs – aubergine, tomato, spinach, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, beetroot, rosemary, thyme, basil and many more.In 2013 a study by the African Food Security Urban Network found that 12 million South Africans are food insecure. This in a country that is generally food secure.FOOD SECURITYSouth Africa’s Vision 2030, better known as the National Development Plan, identified food security as an important target in meeting the objectives of the NDP.A project in Cape Town funded by Woolworths MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fund is creating food security for a group of pupils in Observatory and Salt River. The edible garden planted at Observatory Junior School will produce 10 kg’s of fresh vegetables daily, allowing the 1 500 pupils at Dryden Primary School, Mary-Kihn Primary and Observatory Junior School to enjoy a healthy fresh meal.Helene Brand, MySchool’s CSI Manager, explained that the Salt River/ Observatory area was home to many households unable to provide a packed lunch. A secondary benefit she pointed out, “The edible garden at Observatory Junior School is our contribution towards giving more learners access to fresh food and a living garden where they can learn how to grow food and take responsibility for the upkeep of the garden.”THE GARDENThe garden at Observatory Primary is 400 square meters and includes 40 different varietals of vegetables and herbs – aubergine, tomato, spinach, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, beetroot, rosemary, thyme, basil and many more.Harvested produce is shared between all three schools, and is the base for the healthy lunch provided to learners every day. All three schools will also use the garden as an educational resource centre, actively involving learners in managing the garden. They will plant and harvest what they’ve grown, giving them a lifelong skill.Andy Clark, head of transformation at Woolworths Financial Services, said: “We’ve worked with all three schools through our participation in the Community of Learning Principals and the Partners for Possibility initiative and wanted to continue supporting them, so they can continue on their journey to be more sustainable and independent. They are run by highly committed staff and are motivated to participate in initiatives that will benefit their learners.“We are hoping to roll out more gardens at schools in the area, contributing to the communities in which we operate.”YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOWMore than half of Urban Harvest, the company that established the garden, 250 edible garden projects are based at schools in the greater Cape Town area. They seed gardens and help maintain and train people until they are self-sustainable.Explaining their philosophy Urban Harvest’s Ben Getz said: “The edible garden teaches learners that ‘you reap what you sow’. In the garden hard work pays off in many ways and the learners gain a greater sense of responsibility.“They also gain a sensitivity to and an appreciation for quiet, meditative, slow time when weeding or feeding the garden. They learn about keeping space neat and organised and a respect for nature and its lessons.”FETSA TLALAIn 2013 the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson launched Fetsa Tlala – an initiative aimed at improving household food security and stimulating sustainable job creation in the poorest districts of the country.This initiative ensures that underutilised agricultural land is put under production to increase local access to food.Fetsa Tlala will be financed through, amongst others, the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP). Allocations to provinces will be dedicated to food production, either crop or livestock production. More inclination, however, is towards the production of staple food such as maize, beans, wheat, sunflower, ground nuts and potatoes.CASP is the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries’ premier support programme and is funded through the Division of Revenue Act.last_img read more