Tomorrow is too far away for the Proteas to plan for the World Cup

2010-10-02 00:00

TIS the season of wood and leather, and the Poms are out in full force.

The SuperSport Series is under way, and the number of English players in the local game is rising almost as vigorously as the mercury.

It turns out that it isn’t such a one-way street after all. What we can do in the English game, it seems the Poms can do in ours.

Well, that is if you consider such worldy names as Pietersen, Bopara and Shah as quintessentially English.

Alas, that is a story for another day.

What one can surmise from this growing trend is that the franchise system is a proper base for players with ambitions of going to the next level.

Dolphins coach Graham Ford described the domestic fare as the toughest in the world, and that for a man who has travelled widely as a well-respected coach.

So, what is the pull for these international sorts?

One could ponder and suggest that maybe KP was just missing a bit of biltong and a bout of Maritzburg sunstroke, but that may be slightly off the mark.

The combination of faster wickets, tougher cricket and a big step from their comfort zones would have certainly helped the trio make their minds up.

They know that they will be prized scalps — especially Mr Pietersen — and that in itself will provide them with the challenging condition that they crave.

But far from this column being just about the prospects of a couple of visitors, it also greedily welcomes the feast of cricket that is about to hit us.

Our neighbours arrive this coming week for a bit of hit and giggle. Though Zimbabwe is not the feisty fellow of old, there are signs of a revolution under new management.

The next assignment is against the Pakistanis, who can be forgiven for being a little distracted when the Proteas arrive in Dubai.

Let’s just say cricket’s most entertaining nation is in a bit of a fix.

For both assignments, the Proteas have named a squad with an eye on tomorrow.

And it is about time, too.

What has curtailed South Africa in too many tournaments in the past is the lack of a clear Plan B.

The second option has almost seemed like a serious prayer that Plan A blerrie well works.

That is not good enough.

The recent Champions League showed that a touch of the unknown can go a long way — even in this day of video analysis and tweets relating to anything and everything in between.

The South Australian bunch of no-names caught a lot of teams cold, thanks to simple plans that were executed expertly.

It sounds simple, but there is a lot to be said for keeping things at ABC, when every other player is trying to create new ways of doing the simplest of tasks.

The same goes for the Warriors and their run to the final.

The likes of Colin Ingram, David Miller and Wayne Parnell are the future of SA cricket.

They are, in the main, unfussy. See the ball, hit the ball. See stumps — knock them over.

But they need to be exposed now, so that the future doesn’t catch them cold.

Miller and Parnell have already dipped their toes into the global pool. It is time for others to join the party.

There is an old Spanish proverb that goes: Tomorrow is always the busiest day of the week.

It’s a shot at the fine practioners of procrastination. Of course the Spanish — with their siestas and all — would know a thing or two about leaving things for the next day.

Tomorrow, it seems, the Proteas will dare to think outside the box.

Tomorrow they will be brave and pick a Davey Jacobs, not because he has served some sort of apprenticeship, but because he is in the form of his life.

Tomorrow the old, safe Proteas core will be replaced by a bunch of fearless tweeters who prefer surfing (indoors and out) to golfing and property investment.

Tomorrow the Proteas will go to the World Cup, hoping to capture the elusive gold. But they best start making plans for every possible obstacle.

Today.

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