SILLY season has once more hit the South African sporting arena. The Springboks and the Proteas are back home after a gruelling away schedule, the latter will soon prepare for a series against the Sri Lankans and the Blitzboks are defending their title at the Cape Town Sevens this weekend. Sure, it has been fun, but what fans really want is an exhibition match to really get them excited. Happily, good ol’ sporting fans, for those not in the know, do we have the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup to look forward to this evening.
The match, as in years gone by, will pit the Proteas and the Boks against each other in what would prove to be a very lively T20 affair at Newlands in Cape Town. Why is this such an exciting sporting prospect you ask? Well, there are no rankings, no bilateral rivalry and no performances appraisal involved. It will be a pure no-holds-barred slog-fest of epic proportions – or so we hope.
The Springboks, much to the surprise of the viewing public, ran out victors in the two previous editions. The Protea’s fast bowlers’ run-ups will be restricted, but they look to remedy this with a potent spin attack to curb the runs scored by the Bok big-hitters. The Proteas have also included renowned T20 specialists to combat the Springbok onslaught.
The evening shan’t only revolve around boundaries and brewskies flowing aplenty. There is a great purpose to this event that all involved will pay special attention to. The match will be held in honour of South Africa’s democratic founding father, the late Nelson Mandela. It is a celebration the inroads he made through the sporting channel and fans are encouraged to donate to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“For me it’s great to be involved in this one. I think the amazing thing about Nelson Mandela is how he united this country. Even though he isn’t with us anymore, he’s still doing it. And even though it’s cricket and rugby and all the fans coming together, I think it just speaks of the legacy of the man, what he stood for and what he is still doing,” Proteas all-rounder, JP Duminy said. The Nelson Mandela Foundation hopes to raise at least R1 million for charity.
No love will be lost on the field as first time participant and former Springboks captain, Jean de Villiers alluded to. He admitted that nobody feels like losing even if it’s all for fun. “We’re all competitive by nature, so it should make for a good game, but I don’t think we’ve got a chance”.
The Proteas have effectively chosen a full-strength team that features only one uncapped player in Mangaliso Mosehle of the bizhub Highveld Lions. The rest of their line-up should have the Boks shiver in their cleats. All of Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir and Kyle Abbott are included in their team.
The Boks should not be too worried though. Their sporting code may differ vastly, but they do boast a number of naturally talented athletes. They will take solace in that their captain, Patrick Lambie played provincial cricket at school level. They also have a major ace up their sleeve in the treasonous Graeme Smith joining the Bok side. His batting acumen should give them a massive boost.
The Springbok team sheet looks as follows: Tiaan Liebenberg, Pat Lambie (captain), Faf de Klerk, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Graeme Smith, Conrad Jantjes, Sergeal Petersen, Butch James, Damian De Allende, Trevor Nyakane and Jean de Villiers. Percy Montgomery and Stephan Dippenaar are running substitutes and will only field.
The match starts at 18h00. Tickets are available through TicketPro and range between R120 and R180. You can also buy your tickets at the PPC Newlands ticket office.
Try and make it to some of the Blitzbok matches on Friday and Saturday as they attempt to continue their good form shown last weekend. They look to defend their title at the Cape Town Stadium and should easily dispose of their opposition in their pool. Australia, Russia and the United States are their opposition. Tickets are available through Computicket.