As decorations go up in various streets, edifices and offices the inevitable is evident. The year is coming to a conclusion and some other less frivolous things have or will be wrapping up soon either than Christmas presents. My worst time of the year is about to come and this year should be even worse as it does every year as sporting hiatuses run rampant, the clichés start and to imagine that this year they will be concomitant with a Jessica Simpson Christmas album should make this period even more unbearable. As the Currie Cup has come to an end, We eagerly await the Telkom Knockout Final which should be yet another Soweto derby final thanks to Pretoria teams Supersport and Sundowns for not showing any courage and losing to Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United respectively. Supersport just got served by an impeccable team that has showcased impeccable form this season. Pirates though seem to be a very hot/cold team at times as they can give a good show over a weekend and stumble mid-week to a lowly team like Amazulu and only salvage a goalless draw. We all know that these teams should be beaten week in and week out to have any chance to win the title. If Pirates play Chiefs in the final they better play better than they did when they lost 3-1 to Chiefs in the last derby the teams played.
As the Christmas break is about to come Sundowns seemed to have bolstered their chances of winning the league as they had another perfunctory victory against Free State Stars as Mabhuti Kanyeza and Matt Patterson gave them a 2-0 victory but their loss to Wits has left other teams feeling they could be in with a chance. Teams which won’t be too pleased about their current standings will be Swallows for one who continue to plunge deeper into their quagmire. Supersport United also seem to be feeling the heat and if only they were going to perform some miracle and win the league they would be pleased to know that the PSL is considering making our league run parallel with the rest of the African countries. Gavin Hunt has said how this affected his teams’ performance in previous African Champions League tournaments. This would enable local teams to be able to have as much momentum as other African countries and hopefully better results as they wouldn’t be hindered by player transfers in the middle of the season. While South African teams are trying to decipher the formula to winning ways in the Champions league TP Mazmbe trounced Esperance to leave the trophy untouched in their cabinet. A mortifying 5-0 win by Mazembe certainly meant Esperance were carrying coals to Newcastle for the return leg that eventually left the aggregate 6-1. It is great to see the tournament move away from Egypt towards Southern Africa but one wonders why this can’t be transferred to the national teams.
The end has also come for a bowling legend of this country. Makhaya”Mdingi Express” Ntini’s international cricketing career is over as he promulgated this as well as plans of starting his own academy in Johanesburg on the 2nd of November. With impeccable stats in both forms of the game Ntini retires having a made a mark on South African cricket fans who probably will never forget his 10- wicket haul at Lords, The only South African bowler to achieve this great record in the Mecca of cricket is probably the biggest amongst other invaluable memories Makhaya has brought unto us.He will be lucky enough to say his goodbyes when South Africa play India in a T20 match next year a fete that escaped his hero Brian Mcmillan who couldn’t retire in an international match. His resignation though hasn’t come as smooth as he would have liked it to have been as Mickey Arthur has grabbed headlines claiming Makhaya played the race card in 2008 when dropped in the squad in his book titled Taking The Mickey.
It would seem its time for releasing books by cricketing figures as Herschelle Herman Gibbs also released an autobiography that has made headlines for Proteas’ salacious and insobriety scandals more than cricket titled To The Point.
The end of racial quotas in sport in the country could soon come to an end courtesy of no other than new Minister Of Sport Fikilile Mablula. He discussed various aspects of sport and totally lambatsted behavior talked about in Herschelle Gibbs autobiography but one wonders how can alcohol and sport be separated when the biggest sponsors in sport are alcohol companies. Mbalula could just be giving lip service here but this would bring relief to certain black players who find these quotas as perhaps belittling their dexterities and abilities to making the national teams and provincial teams as Charl Langeveldt once felt.
The F1 has also concluded leaving Sebastian” Baby Schumacher” Vettel the youngest winner ever beating Lewis Hamilton’s record by 134 days. It has been a tough season competing with seasoned campaigners such as Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber who ended up seventh and eighth in Abu Dhabi to hand the title to the young German. Both Webber and Alonso will be quite disappointed but the latter more so as he only needed to get 4th spot to win the championship even if Vettel won.