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The truth will set your fee

I owe a big thank you to South Africa’s cricket administrators. You see, they have set me straight.

I had, for a long time, laboured under the misapprehension that the truth is a good thing.

But apparently this is not so.

Peeved at Mark Boucher’s comments to the media over the omission of Jacques Kallis from the South African squad for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup, Cricket South Africa shunted him off to be hauled over the coals.

By all accounts, first prize for the string-pullers would have been to have the man turfed from the T20 Cup itself. But they had to settle for second best and Boucher was fined 60% of his T20 Cup match fees.

Part of the comments for which he was censured dealt with exactly where T20 features in the cricket pecking order.

“His comments are dismissive of Twenty20 and cannot but help to tarnish the brand in the public perception and are media comments which are detrimental to the prestige of the Twenty20 World Cup tournament,” said a disciplinary panel.

So, what foul evil did Boucher spout forth?

He had the audacity to suggest that for cricketer lovers, Test matches take precedence, followed by one-day internationals and then Twenty20.

Now, anyone who has picked up a cricket bat or spent a good portion of their time watching the game itself cannot but agree with Boucher’s comments, especially, I am willing to bet, the players themselves. T20 is a poor, distant relative.

Admittedly, it is a quick, explosive and fun distraction that has drawn dwindling domestic crowds back to the game. Who knows, maybe years and years down the line it will come to be considered the premier form of the game.

But this is not so at the moment.

So, essentially, Boucher has been pinged for telling the truth.

Thus, the truth must be a bad thing.

Thank you for setting me straight on this score.


  • Keith is a journalist at the Mail & Guardian Online and is, among other things, appreciative of sport