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Carrot

One of the best remarks I read about Cronje was from an Australian journalist - can't remember who. It was during a lot of the "why'd he do it?" speculation that was going on at the time - particularly given the fact that he surely didn't need the money, and given the emergence of South African cricket from apartheid it was an immense betrayal to pretty much everyone in the game. Apparently this journo had interviewed a crooked union chief a few years previous after he'd been tried, convicted and sent down - it was a sort of a confessional, "after the event" piece. The guy was talking quite candidly about the whys and wherefores of it all, and that if he had his time again etc etc, when the journo dropped his pen, bent down to pick it up and noticed quite accidentally that there was a big roll of $50 notes in the guy's bag. He reflected at the time that some people just have a need for the oily, sensual grubbiness of money in their hands, they will always be tempted by it no matter what their circumstances, and that it applied to Cronje as much as this guy. It was a pretty apt remark.

In other breaking news, I'm going to the cricket tomorrow in The Hague! The Netherlands have been playing really well in the English domestic competition this year - in fact they're five points ahead of the rest of their group and have been beating established county sides pretty comprehensively - so I thought I'd go and have a look. I had a look at the side that played the last game expecting most of them to be South African ex-pats, but blow me down if Australians aren't the dominant ethnic group! There are four Australians, three Saffas, three Dutch and a Kiwi. I'm curious to know how it will fit together - I can't imagine that the ground will be very state-of-the-art, so it might have a bit of a feel of a club match to it, which could mean that I'll be able to have a chat with a couple of players or something. I'm interested in seeing how Tom Cooper plays in particular - he plays for South Australia. Our Phil Hughes should be in the mix somewhere too - he's plying his trade for Worcestershire at the moment, who are the opponents.

Lou

Match report please!

Big Ramifications

Carrot, you read the story about Cronje having a chat to a foreigner in the South African dressing room after a day's play - pretty sure it was an Aussie journo or an Aussie player.

The subject of protecting his loot[?] came up and he replied "don't worry" and pulled out a large calibre pistol from his duffel bag, large enough to stop a rampaging bull elephant with a big mongrel.

// memory hazy

Vijay "The EJ" Drohpdizpanth

Indian bull elephants have bigger mongrels. Little known fact.

Carrot

Hey Biggy - nope, it was definitely a story about an Australian union exec or similar, that was being compared to the Cronje issue. I particularly remember the language he used to describe the temptation and sensation of money. Not a gun in sight, apparently!

I'll see what I can do, Lou - we have to hope that the weather stays clear, though!

Big Ramifications

I wasn't suggesting your story was intertwined with the anecdote I remember.

Kapil Dev

I will die. I will commit suicide before I take a bribe. I put my heart, soul and tears, my everything into the game and this is what I get.

*waaah!* *sob*

I have not taken money. I have not offered any money to anybody. I put my heart, soul and tears, my everything into the game and this is what I get. I don't know what to do. My wife can't sleep at night. I hold my daughter all night.

*waaah!* *sob* *sniff*

I am ashamed I played cricket. Who wants money? Take all my money. I come from a family where pride is more important than anything else. Third party! Third party! What third party? I'm sick of third party. Please for God's sake become the first party and say what happened.

*sob*

I have never done any wrong. Never taken any money from any bookie. Please go to my accountant and see my accounts.

*waaah!*

Manoj Prabhakar

Only guilty people cry.

Carrot

Right, so at Lou's request -

NL got rolled. All out for 57, Worcester won by nine wickets in the 11th over or something. Terrible match for the Dutch, especially given recent form - they managed to rack up 304 off 40 overs against Leicestershire the other day. All that said, the conditions were terrible - it was one of those days where you think the heavens are going to open permenently at any minute but somehow they didn't, and Dutch wickets kept falling. When Worcestershire got to bat things had cleared up considerably. Our Phil came in at 3 and hit the winning runs.

Apart from the one-sided scorecard, the Dutch looked the part. They're good athletes in the field, and they definitely have a couple of good quicks. There was none of that balding, portly-old-man feel of Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan sides of yesteryear. As their season would suggest, I didn't see them at the top of their game today. As for the fixtures, the ground was a club ground essentially. Good outfield, nice looking clubhouse that looked quite new, a few park benches around the ground, and a cow paddock complete with cows for added colour next-door. The ground was part of a sporting complex, and we we got some VERY blank looks at first when we asked where the cricket was being played, until some old geezer gave us directions. That was the end of my pidgin Dutch though, because from there EVERYONE was Australian, and I mean everyone. The girl that sold us the tickets, the guys that sold us our beers and hamburgers, the two girls selling shirts - it was hilarious. Not what I had predicted - as above, I thought that everyone would be South African.

It was fun though, and I'll be back! They're hosting Bangladesh in a T20 in about a month's time at the same ground, so that'll be worth a look.

Greg Chappell

I'm not batting badly, I just keep getting out.

Lou

Cheers Carrot. It sounds like fun to attend. I checked the score on cricinfo just in time to read about Cooper losing his wicket so didn't pay too much attention after that.

Lou

Anyway in one of the uncomplicatedly good things about cricket, Samuels was at it again. He looked like he was batting in the park on a lazy Sunday afternoon, he's so graceful and plays so late. I wish one of our new players looked half as good as him.

Swann is getting to the point where he just trundles in without a plan. Or maybe that is what Samuels makes it look like.

Lou

And now Tino Best, that's right, TINO BLOODY BEST is launching into the English attack. Such fun.

chrisl

Carrot. Thanks fot the report from The Hague. By the way, what is Tom Cooper's link with the Netherlands? Is his real name Tomaaas den Kooper ?

Carrot

Hi Chrisl - his cricinfo profile says that his mother is Dutch, so I'm guessing he has Dutch citizenship. Someone in the Dutch board must have really done their homework on that sort of thing recently, because I can't imagine that many Australian guys would end up playing for NL without some sort of approach. It must have started around the time that Dirk Nannes was playing for them.

chrisl

It must be frustrating being a cricketer/supporter in NL becauase of the weather. The only difference between winter and summer is that the rain is warmer.

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