Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A nation up in smoke…

So after Sunday’s game, quite a few (so called) supporters are accusing the Proteas of smoking. At first I thought the accusation had merit, especially since they lost their game against England from a comfortable and commanding position. However, I then realized they are professionals and heroes in the eyes of children around the country; hence the idea of smoking in public seemed ludicrous.
A wounded England was always going to be a challenge; especially after an embarrassing loss against Ireland…a country they normally treat as the bastard child. With the Proteas falling short by 6 runs, a whole nation is now up in arms and anti-smoking campaigns are popping up everywhere.
Even though the Proteas were heavy smokers before, they never chain smoked though…that is left to the All Blacks. Yes, the big occasion got the better of them, especially at World Cups, but this new and vibrant Proteas squad are quite frankly too young to smoke.
With this in mind…England were simply on fire (and no…this is not a case of where there’s smoke there’s fire). After being “spun out of control”, they fought back magnificently and thoroughly deserved their win. Yes…Smith made some surprising bowling changes; the most notable of these was when he removed Petersen from the attack…in spite of the guy being in the spell of his life.
Then there was the batting…Amla was doing his thing, while Smith against Swann looked as odd as a hillbilly on the cover of Wisden. Kallis has yet to find his form, but I know it’s somewhere under his pile of newly bought hair brushes. de Villers tried in vain, while JP was just a victim of a jaffer of a ball. du Plessis and van Wyk were just out of their depth – none of these are signs of smoking – just players up against better players.
In the end…back here in South Africa, quite a few people have started to smoke on behalf of the Proteas. Maybe it’s a case of not being strong enough to fight off the craving, peer pressure or just plain old abuse…all I know is…the Proteas still have a long way to go and if they don’t go all the way, then it’s not because of smoking, but rather not being good enough on the day!
(In case you missed it…I just can’t bring myself to use the “c” word…*cough*)
Sharief ‘Sheriff’ Allie for DieHard Cricket Fans

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