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That warm feeling


“You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends”

Picture: Alastair Grant/AP

THE SAYING goes, “You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.” I think they got that a little wrong. For me, the saying should be, “My family are my friends and my friends are my family.”

This past weekend really showed that.

I was merrily minding my own business knowing in the back of my mind I had a birthday coming, but work has kept me busy so I wasn’t really dwelling on it. Usually I build it up in my mind one week to go, three days to go tomorrow

I don’t know about you, but I get an almost warm feeling inside. One thing that doesn’t enter my mind is the age I’m going to be. In my mind I’m still in my late 20s early 30s – if only. The one reassuring thought is that even though I’m knocking on 50s’ door, I’m not quite there yet.

This year, though, it was merely just a passing thought. Only on Saturday morning did it really hit me when the WhatsApp messages and calls started coming in that today was my birthday.

However, I knew I couldn’t dwell on it as work still had to be done sigh

So off to work I went and all I could think about was taking a nice afternoon nap snuggled up under the blankets and then off to my regular Saturday night supper with family.

I got home and things just didn’t work out as I had planned. Little did I know what was about to happen. The next thing I knew, there were some of my work colleagues. I thought, “OK, they are just coming around for coffee.”

But, no, they were there to surprise me. Only then did I get that warm feeling inside me. What a wonderful afternoon – no Saturday afternoon nap can compare to that. After that it was off to family and all I can say is what a perfect end to my day.

It really did feel like a birthday, so thank you all!

I just wish that the Proteas could have as magnificent a relationship as I have with my family and friends. I know that at the end of the day who has my back and who I can rely on. I know that I could not do what I do without knowing that they are there to chastise me or encourage me.

The Proteas definitely don’t have this. I just can’t imagine Faf du Plessis organising a surprise party for Imran Tahir. Faf would just probably pat Immy on the shoulder and say, “Happy birthday. Have a great day,” then turn around and do whatever he had to do.

This brings to mind the match we played against New Zealand recently. Immy was convinced he had a wicket and wanted it referred, but we also know Immy, he will go up for anything and everything. But, if there was the kind of relationship I have with my colleagues, the timer wouldn’t even have started ticking and we would all have gone up in unison. And, just maybe, the players wouldn’t already be drawing straws for the window seat back home.

It just seems that the team this time weren’t choking, but just seemed disjointed – not quite fitting and gelling. There was also nobody who stuck up their hands and said, “Here I am. I will do the job.”

The only ones who really made a difference and an effort were Chris Morris, Rassie van der Dussen and Immy. Just to think that Morris might not even have made the journey.

To me these players really stood out and I hope the selectors and powers that be have taken notice of this and start building the family around these players to give us a fighting chance in the next World Cup.