Rhinos in Proteas dressing room in S. Africa
By Sangeeta Viswas
on Tue Aug 31 2021
The Rhinos is invisible and indirect, but oppressively present, in the Proteas dressing room of South Africa. It is the seriousness that has descended on a game that is looking its past in the eye, and what it sees, will affect performances in the white-ball series against Sri Lanka starting in Colombo on Thursday.
Testimony at the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearing has published to the world what the people of South Africa have always known: cricket is as destroyed by racism as by everything else in the country. He is changing in the Proteas dressing room, where difficult but constructive conversations are taking place. This issue could not be more relevant now.
Mark Boucher’s players only need to see him to remind him that he has been implicated in SJN. Boucher didn’t create the culture that caused all the trouble – Paul Adams, a prime victim of misdemeanor, played 18 games for South Africa before Boucher arrival – but he didn’t help end it either.
Boucher has apologized to SJN in his appearance And has been open and honest with his attendees about his past behavior. Improving South Africa’s relationship with issues of race and racism would be impossible without its purchase and approval.
This is an unfair load to put on a team that has recently turned a corner on the field.All those victories have been achieved under Boucher’s guidance, which were scheduled in December 2019. His team has suffered eight series defeats, but lost none of their last four.
Trying to maintain an unbeaten extension in the ODIs against Sri Lanka. Quinton de Kock was rested, David Miller was injured and Lungi Ngidi ruled out for unrecognized personal reasons. the Boucher has resigned as assistant coach for reasons that are yet to be explained. This contradiction could have been the basis of a good working relationship.
There’s another rhinoceros in the South African dressing room, and it comes with an intriguing story. It’s in Dwayne Pretorius’ kitbag and plays a key role in the video call between him and his son, four-year-old Hanlu. “He doesn’t want to talk to me when I’m away, because he misses me too much,” Pretorius said in an audio file released by CSA. “So I talk to him via the rhinoceros. Otherwise, I don’t notice him – he doesn’t necessarily want to talk to me, because I’m too far away. How do we deal with this.”
Pretorius said that Hanlu was introduced to the UK by hotel staff when the family was together ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Hanlu’s father had more time at home than he had since then. South Africa in February due to a broken rib and Covid-19, the team’s final 20 matches. “It seems like years and years but it’s only been a few months,” Pretorius said of his absence.
The return of the prolific all-rounder should help offset the impact of South Africa working out without de Kock, Miller and Ngidi – who will all be back for T20Is – but lockdown rules turned the sweetness sour for Pretorius Is: “The most hopeless thing is that we cannot see countries like SL I’ve always wanted to come here. In the 2013 Champions Trophy, we had a security officer who was from Sri Lanka. He said, ‘It’s a beautiful country, you’ve got it, come see it.’ Obviously we can’t do that.”
Still, he was introduced to the island’s infamous humidity: “In South Africa, a bottle of water would be fine in a training session. Today, I think most people got through four.”
When players let down their guard as businessmen and allow themselves to be human beings, as Pretorius did, we are reminded of who plays cricket – not cricketers but people. And people will get it wrong, sometimes seriously. That is, the result. What they should be like in Boucher’s case is not clear.