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Archive for the tag “cricket”

The Mandela effect

As a South African, I thought I knew what the Mandela Effect, also known as the Madiba factor, was.

It originated on the day Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected president on 10 May 1994. Having stood in the crowd at the Union Buildings and waved our flags, we returned home and sat down in front of the TV and watched an international football match — South Africa versus Zambia. And we won.

Nel;son Mandela had gone from the Union Buildings to the FNB Stadium by helicopter, and was watching the match in person.

The next year, 1995, South Africa won the Rugby World Cup, and Nelson Mandela’s role in that was documented and made known to world through the film Invictus.

In 1996 we made the trek to the FNB Stadium, and saw South Africa play Tunisia in the final of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. Nelson Mandela was there, and South Africa won. The Mandela Effect was well established, especially when people noticed that when he wasn’t there, the South African team usually lost.

Nelson Mandela
By Arquivo/ABr – Agência Brasil [1], CC BY 3.0 br,

More recently I began frequenting the Quora web site, where people ask questions and others answer. I found I could answer a few questions, and answered a couple about Nelson Mandela. Then I began seeing lots of questions about the Mandela Effect, but they were quite incomprehensible, as were the answers.

I asked about it on Quora, and got largely incomprehensible answers. One said it had something to do with lots of people forgetting or remembering things, but with no explanation of how Mandela came in to it. I wondered if it had anything to do with the film Invictus, as it seemed to be something spoken about mainly by people outside South Africa.

So can anyone explain to me how there came to be two Mandela factors, with completely different meanings, one known to people within South Africa, and one, apparently, known mainly to people outside? And what does it have to do with Madiba?

Peter Roebuck: the plot thickens

Ther has been a series of conflicting and increasingly weird news reports on the death of Peter Roebuck, the cricket commentator.

An early report, in The Guardian said simply that he had been found dead in a hotel room in Cape Town, where he had been covering the current test series between South Africa and Australia

The former Somerset cricketer Peter Roebuck has been found dead in a hotel room in South Africa.

Roebuck, who was 55 and played alongside Sir Ian Botham and Sir Viv Richards at Somerset, had built a reputation as an acute observer of the game since retiring from playing in 1991, and worked as a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age. He also worked as a broadcaster for ABC radio and had been covering Australia’s tour of South Africa.

“He could describe a game of cricket in such a way that even if you didn’t like the game, you liked the way that he went about his business,” said Craig Norenbergs, the ABC Grandstand manager.

Roebuck was known as a solid batsman, passing 1,000 runs in nine out of 12 seasons and was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1988.

The BBC put a different and more ominous slant on it BBC Sport – Ex-Somerset captain Peter Roebuck dies at 55:

South African police said Roebuck had taken his own life and are investigating the full circumstances surrounding his death.

The Sydney Morning Herald, who Roebuck had written for since 1984, reported that he fell to his death from a hotel window on Saturday night after being questioned by police.

… leading one to wonder how he could have been found in his room if he had jumped to his death from the window.

But that’s not all.

Roebuck falls to death after sex assault questioning – Sport – NZ Herald News:

Renowned cricket writer Peter Roebuck reportedly fell to his death from a South African hotel balcony while being quizzed by Cape Town police over a sex assault on Saturday night.

Australia’s The Age news website said an agitated Roebuck had asked another cricket writer to help him, after police began speaking with him at a hotel near the Newlands ground.

“Can you come down to my room quickly, I’ve got a problem,” the website reported Roebuck as saying.

Roebuck then fell to his death while a police officer was reportedly in the room.

I wonder what really happened.

Tied semifinals in cricket competition

There was rather remarkable ending to the semifinals of domestic 20/20 cricket competition. The KZN Dolphins were playing the Western Cape Cobras, and the semifinals were the best of three. I had gone to bed, and Val was watching — I don’t regard the 20/20 as proper cricket.

The Dolphins were faring rather badly, and Val yelled when someone scored a six off the final ball to tie the scores at 148. The semifinal was three matches, and each team had won one and lost one, and now they had tied the third. And the same thing happened with the other semifinal, where the Warriors and the Eagles were tied on 97, and so each semifinal had to be decided on a power over with one bowler and three batsmen, a bit like a penalty shootout in football, but the chances of a tie in the best of three cricket matches are considerably more remote than in football. Sad to say, the Dolphins lost.

It’s just not cricket

Justice triumphed when England lost a one-day cricket match to New Zealand because of a fielding error on the last ball. An overthrow enabled New Zealand to get the crucial last run.

BBC SPORT | Cricket | England | Last-ball error hands NZ victory:

New Zealand won a remarkable one-day international when England somehow allowed last man Mark Gillespie to hit two from the final ball of the match.

He scampered a single and came back for the overthrow when Graeme Swann’s shy at the stumps was not backed up.

Earlier, Grant Elliott, guiding the tourists home, was controversially run out as he was injured in a collision with England’s Ryan Sidebottom.

The wicket could have been crucial, but England’s modest 245 was not enough.

I think most people who watched the match thought that it was supremely unfair that Elliot should have been given out after what looked like a rugby tackle by Sidebottom, and rejoiced greatly that the English fielding bungle enabled New Zealand to win.

Perhaps the rules should be changed to say that a batsman cannot be given out in a run out if physically obstructed by a member of the fielding team, otherwise cricket could turn into a variant of Red Rover.

Well done Zim!

It may be a moot point whether South Africa will be ready for 2010, but Zimbabwe were certainly ready for 2020 tonight, and Australia obviously weren’t!

I didn’t think I’d watch this cricket-lite, but Zimbabwe’s performance had me glued to the telly.

A very good start to the tournament!

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