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Episode 34: Dean Elgar - Top of the Order
Over the last five years no Test opening batsman has scored more runs than Dean Elgar. The Proteas left-hander has knocked off 3018 runs at an average 40.78 since 2016 and has become an indispensable part of the team. Making runs at the top of the order and seeing off the new ball is a vital skill and Elgar has continued to produce for his team, continuing a post-isolation tradition of gritty opening left-handers that have excelled in the Test arena, after Gary Kirsten and Graeme Smith. Over the coming weeks he will face a new challenge when he opens against Pakistan, in Pakistan. Conditions might suit reverse swing and Elgar will again have his technique and fortitude tested in a new way. As always, he is up for the challenge.
Episode 33: Thomas Abt - Greatness begins here
Newly appointed Sunshine Tour Commissioner Thomas Abt has taken over at one of the most precarious times in sporting history. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on sport in general, and on golf in this case, is likely to be profound. The cost of the pandemic might not fully be known for years to come, and Abt will be the person steering South Africa’s professional game through the turbulence. He has two decades of experience in the golfing industry. He started as an assistant golf professional at the Lost City Course at Sun City, before moving to Sports Marketing Company SAIL, where he became head of the golf division. More recently he occupied a dual role as deputy Sunshine Tour Commissioner while still at SAIL, but on 1 October, he moved on a full time basis to the Sunshine Tour. The Sunshine Tour’s motto is: “greatness begins here” and Abt aims to ensure that he and the tour live up to it.
Episode 32: Ed Coetzee - The business of rugby
One of rugby’s great myths is that the forwards are always the unthinking, heavy lifters, while the backs have all the brains. It probably comes from a small sample of players back in the sport’s sepia-toned past, but times have changed. Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee was a prop – and a very good one at that – he played Super Rugby for the Sharks, for South Africa ‘A’ and spent eight years playing in France for Biarritz. He is anything but unthinking or brainless, and as rugby enters a new post-Covid-19 world, the challenges that the game faced before the pandemic ravaged the planet, have been exacerbated by six months of lockdown. Previous business models have to be torn up and re-engineered. For the next few years at least, professional rugby in South Africa and globally too, will be in a precarious position. It will take bold, innovative young leaders such as Coetzee to navigate a way through these turbulent times.
Episode 31: Corne Krige - The hard truth
As a rugby player he was tougher than complex quantum physics and more courageous than a wounded lion. He captained the Springboks 18 times and played 39 Tests at a time when Bok rugby was in a deep state of flux and going through coaches as quickly as Cheslin Kolbe goes through defenses. The enduring image of Corne Krige is one of a bloodied and bruised, but never cowed, player. He played every game as if it were his last – sometimes, by his own admission, stepping over the line whether in Western Province, Stormers or Springbok colours. Since retirement he has carved out a successful business career and stays fit on his mountain bike. Corne also keeps a close eye on rugby from the outside and is still passionate about WP and the Springboks. On the Maverick Sports Podcast he talks about the past, present and future of South African rugby and typically, pulls no punches.
Episode 30: Andrew Breetzke - Cricket at a crossroads
Cricket in South Africa is at a major crossroads. There is a leadership vacuum, a pending financial crisis, transformation, race and social justice issues as well as unease from sponsors and most importantly, players. It’s easy to forget the 315 players who make some form of a living in the cricket industry. It’s easier to forget the many lives that cricket supports through salaries paid to coaches, office, managerial and cleaning staff, and the many small businesses such as hospitality, cleaning and security services that the game supports. This week, a concerned Andrew Breetzke, CEO of the South African Cricketers’ Association, otherwise known as Saca helps us unpack the drama that is Cricket South Africa.
Episode 29: Haroon Lorgat: Cricket SA - A corridor of uncertainty
Former ICC and Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat has seen it all in the game. From South Africa’s tentative return to the international arena in the early 1990s, to India’s rise to cricketing super power in the 21st century. He famously stood up to India at ICC meetings, both as CEO of the international organisation and of CSA. It was controversial and led to some spats, but Lorgat always put the interests of the organisation he was representing, and of the game of cricket first. After parting ways with CSA in acrimonious circumstances in 2017, Lorgat has returned to the private sector but has also been involved in the establishment and running of the T20 Pakistan Super League where he has brought his considerable knowledge to that tournament. With Covid-19 wreaking havoc with the playing schedule and CSA in a dire financial situation, Lorgat joins the Maverick Sports Podcast this week and pulls no punches in his assessment of the game, its past and its future.