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Keep your eyes on the cricket

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Former Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince is hoping the public’s focus can return to the players out in the middle fairly soon.

Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Former Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince is hoping the public’s focus can return to the players out in the middle fairly soon.

Cricket is engulfed in a national crisis with its embattled ruling body, Cricket South Africa, limping from one disaster to the next almost daily.

Legal cases are mounting against CSA, with the South African Cricketers Association at the forefront of the challenges, while its beleaguered chief executive Thabang Moroe is facing criticism from stakeholders, including sponsors and fellow board members.

“For me the focus should be on the quality of cricket. It is important for our country that the standard remains high,” Prince, who is coaching the Cape Town Blitz in the on-going Mzansi Super League, said.

But surely the off-field dramas are affecting the players?

“I don’t think it affects the players. It doesn’t affect us. I think if you look at the quality of the cricket, and I am not just referring to the Blitz games, which we have seen on the pitch, it is clear to see what is going on is not affecting the players. The players are playing good cricket and that is encouraging,” Prince said.

The standard of cricket, possibly bar the fielding, has been quite high throughout the Mzansi Super League.

Record chases

There have been quality performances throughout, especially with a couple of record chases completed recently.

Equally, veterans such as Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir have reminded everyone of the quality acts they were in their prime. “If you are a cricketing person and enjoy the game, I mean Dale Steyn deserves to be watched at the moment. The quality of cricket he is producing. Equally, Imran Tahir. I mean both of them are in the twilight of their careers, and they’re playing on top of their game,” Prince said.

“They deserve a crowd because they are on top of their game. We are encouraging people to come out and watch because the product is good and they are legends of the game that deserve to be watched by a good crowd.”

Prince was equally confident the Proteas would brush aside the recent dramas ahead of the much-anticipated England Test series on home shores.

“I have read comments from former English players that now is a good time to take them down because they’re all over the place. I’ve seen such comments from them in the past. Perhaps they just want to deflect from England getting whipped in New Zealand, so they want to put the focus on our situation. I still back our boys to get the job done,” he said.