One day before the semi-final of the World Twenty20 in India recently, before the West Indies dazzled the world by clipping India and England with three deliveries and two deliveries to spare, respectively, to win the championship in style, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron opened up and explained his philosophy, the reason why he is, or was, probably public enemy number one in the West Indies. Sitting in a Mumbai hotel, he said, apparently quite meekly: “I just want us to get better. I am tired of losing.” And then, as arrogantly as ever, he said: “My role is to run the business and your role is to play cricket.” The “your” he was referring to was the players – and he was correct. Cameron, not knowing that his team would have won the match the following day, or the final showdown a few days later, but hoping against hope that they would, was engaged in a long interview at the time and he tried to explain his unpopularity around the West Indies and the reason why he behaves the way he does, especially when it comes to his treatment of the West Indies players. “We have had strikes or potential strikes for the last 14 years. And we have gone and met the players and given in. And we are ranked eight or nine. I am not sure going and meeting them would have solved it. Good faith However, I commend him for three things. For looking towards hiring West Indians such as coach Phil Simmons to assist in the development of West Indies cricket, for professionalising regional cricket, and for getting West Indies first-class cricket to be played on a return basis. A week or so ago, however, when I read his interview in Mumbai and read what he had to say about the reasons for his attitude towards the players, I was touched. I was moved. Cameron, whatever we thought of him, was, indeed, a West Indian. He wanted the West Indies to win, he wanted the players to play well and, like every West Indian, he wanted the players to play for the West Indies and to win for the West Indies. He wanted them, however, to be reasonable, to realise that the West Indies is a poor place and cannot afford to pay them what they probably deserve, or what some other countries pay their players. He wants them to understand that they are West Indians and he wants them to understand that while it is hard for them to do, they should be West Indians and give a little to other West Indians to help in their development. He probably remembered how they benefited as youngsters coming up in the region from those who went before and probably argued that they should give back a little. He also wants them to make as much as they can make by allowing them to go and play in the many T20 leagues around the world, by giving them the required “no objection certificates” and whatever they want in order to play. In other words, he would like the players to cooperate with the board, particularly in the interest of West Indies cricket. In other words, although money is important, he would like the West Indies players to respect West Indies cricket, to play whatever cricket they want to play, but only when the West Indies are not in action. All he wanted was that the players be a little bit less selfish. Regional cricket “As a matter fact, for the first time my board said to me, ‘President, you are not authorised to do anything to this agreement because you paid the guys money for the last year and a half when you had the opportunity to change the agreement. You have demonstrated good faith. You have worked with WIPA (West Indies Players’ Association) to get the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) done. For the last how many years, every time we are trying to move the process forward so that we can create a professional set-up, we get held to ransom. We are just tired as an organisation’. “Wes Hall had strikes against him. Sir Julian Hunte had a couple of issues. It started under Pat Rousseau. It happened to Teddy Griffith. “Everybody went and gave them what they wanted. Did our system get any better? It got worse. We moved from number one in the world in 1995 to eight and nine in Tests and ODIs.” I am not a fan of Cameron for many reasons, including his treatment of the players, his treatment of Caribbean journalists especially one like Tony Cozier, his attitude overall, his use of the little money in West Indies cricket and, last but not least, the part he played in the takeover of the International Cricket Council (ICC) by India, England and Australia. Problem continued The players, however, right or wrong, and from way back when, quarrelled with the board over money, from George Headley and Alfred Valentine and even in those times when the board had no money, or very little money. The problem continued with the coming of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, it continued when West Indies became champions of the world, and it got worse under presidents Peter Short and Rousseau. Short went to London to sort out Brian Lara’s problem when Lara moved out of the team’s hotel; and Rousseau went to London when the team flew from a series against Pakistan to Johannesburg and then to London to sort out the dispute over money. The West Indies were big, the players were big and it appeared that every problem the board had with the players ended with the players rolling up their sleeves and ready for a fight. On many of those occasions, the board had dialogue with representatives of the players before they left the West Indies, but it was as if the players were saying to the board, “You can’t do without us; pay us, or else.” And the board always paid up, more or less. Cameron is right. Every time there was a tour in recent years, the players threatened or went on strike for one thing or the other. No one, except the senior players, ever knew if a tour was really on. That had to stop, or rather, have to stop. West Indies cricket is big. It means a lot to the people. The board, the players’ association and the players must get together in the interest of West Indies cricket and the people. Cameron’s attitude to solve the problem is not the recommended style, but there are some who believe that there comes a time when you should, or must fight fire with fire if you hope to survive. On top of it all, the players’ way doing of business can only be successful if they win all the time. When they win, as they did in India, they can flex their muscles, or cock a hoop at the board, as they did in India. Well said, Cameron. Your role, as president of the board, and as you said, is definitely to run West Indies cricket and the players’ role, as players, is definitely to play cricket to the best of their ability. If you both do that, definitely to the best of your abilities, West Indies will shortly be on top, or they will be very close to the top.
December 20, 2019
SANTA CLARA — Rich Scangarello, the 49ers quarterbacks coach since 2017, is interviewing Monday to become the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, Denver’s 9NEWS reported.The 49ers had previously denied the Broncos’ request to interview Scangarello, just as they had done to other teams inquiring about Mike LaFleur and Mike McDaniels, coordinators of the 49ers pass and run games, respectively.Scangarello’s responsibilities the past two seasons have been to coach up the 49ers’ revolving door …
December 18, 2019
The speakers at the recent summit were (front, from left) Bafana Mabale, Lefty Mogorosi, Refilwe Thlabanyane, Mojalefa Nale, (back, from left) Miller Matola, Leo Makgamathe and Jaco Viljoen. Opti Chicks manager Jaco Viljoen spoke about his company’s contribution to growth and sustainability in the province. Opti Chicks produces day-old broilers for the local market. (Images: Nicky Rehbock) MEDIA CONTACTS • Brand South Africa +27 11 483 0122 • Opti Chicks +27 71 687 2246RELATED ARTICLES • KZN innovators show how it’s done • South Africa is Africa’s top nation brand • Building a thriving nation brand • EC entrepreneurs in the spotlight Nicky RehbockNorth West, one of the country’s agricultural and mining powerhouses, was the latest province to host a Brand South Africa stakeholder summit. The event, held on 28 November 2011, showcased local poultry operation Opti Chicks and its innovative business model.Taking place in each of the nine provinces, the summits aim to increase provincial participation in the nation-branding effort and encourage active citizenship – which, in turn, will help position the country as a top investment and tourism destination.Each event presents South Africans who, through their work and community initiatives, are already active ambassadors for the country and epitomise the unique characteristics, or pillars, of the South African brand – ubuntu, diversity, sustainability, possibility and innovation.Seizing opportunityHaving identified a gap in the market for day-old chicks over three years ago, Opti Chicks has become one of the leading suppliers in the province. It sells the birds to other poultry companies, which then rear the hatchlings for consumption.The North West is the biggest broiler-growing area in South Africa, and Opti Chicks is ideally placed to make the most of opportunities in such a niche segment of the production chain.What adds value to this company and sets it apart from competitors is the fact that it concentrates solely on producing top-quality day-old birds, whereas most other players in the industry are fully integrated.This means they focus on the entire growing cycle, from breeding chickens and processing their meat to distributing and marketing the end product.“Opti Chicks was started in 2008 by NWK, a 102-year-old agriculture-based business in the province with its head office in Lichtenburg. With an initial investment of R150-million (US$18.4-million), the original plan was to produce 350 000 day-old chicks per week,” says manager Jaco Viljoen.“But after we secured a supply agreement with one of the leading role-players in the industry, and they agreed to buy that number from us, we decided to go slightly bigger and produce 500 000 chicks per week. Other stakeholders in North West also needed day-old chicks, so we decided we could sell the difference to them.”Training and development keyWith the supply contract in place and the production capacity decided upon, Opti Chicks set about building up the business. They bought a 320ha farm between the towns of Ottosdal and Coligny in the province and began recruiting staff.Some 90% of staff were unskilled and knew little about the business when they started – one of the company’s biggest challenges, according to Viljoen.But thanks to rigorous ongoing training and development, Opti Chicks has rapidly amassed skills and boosted competency and efficiency. So far the company has created 182 jobs and plans to double that and its capacity by 2014.“In the beginning, through innovative thinking and planning, we realised that we were able to use our existing incubation equipment to further increase our capacity from 500 000 to 650 000 chicks per week, which amounts to about 34-million birds per year. Our operation now accounts for 3.3% of the total production in South Africa,” Viljoen adds.Hygiene is one of Opti Chicks’ top priorities, as the business is highly sensitive to poultry diseases.“We have a shower facility at the farm gate for all personnel entering the premises, and require them to wear protective clothing. We need to make sure there is absolutely no contamination from the outside.”Viljoen attributes the success of his operation to good management practices, thorough training, proper implementation of systems and not overcapitalising on staff and infrastructure.“Our contribution to North West includes job creation and economic stability and sustainability, meaning that no chicks have to be brought in from other provinces. All our inputs, such as maize for feed and bedding material, are also all sourced from North West, which means we help support other local businesses as well.”Growing its African footprintOpti Chicks is currently looking to buy another farm to accommodate expected capacity expansion.“We currently export fertilised eggs for broiler operations in Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and other states on the continent, and are planning to expand our footprint to the rest of Africa in the next 10 years – we’re now looking for strategic partners for that. We want to be prepared for any growth or new developments when they come our way.”Some 32kg of poultry was consumed per capita in the country in 2010, followed by 17.65kg of beef, 4.58kg of pork and 3.16kg of mutton and goat – indicating that chicken is the biggest protein source for South Africans.In comparison, the per capita poultry consumption in the US in 2010 was 43kg, meaning there’s potential for the local industry to expand by 40% to 50% in the coming years.The challenge here is to ensure that this growth comes from South Africa, as 16% of domestically consumed poultry is now imported – and 73% of this from Brazil.“Because of the strength of the rand and the cost of maize in South Africa, imports increased by 15% between 2009 and 2010. And from January to July 2011, 181 554 tons were imported – this is estimated to increase to 311 235 tons by the end of the year.“If half of that could be produced locally, the potential new jobs in the chicken and feed industry could amount to 10 000,” Viljoen says.
December 3, 2019
The Income-Tax Department’s searches against close aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and others continued on Monday, officials said.Officials said the searches, on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions during the ongoing poll season, are continuing at various premises in Bhopal, Indore and in the National Capital Region, including Delhi, as tax sleuths are gathering details and evidences.While there is no official word on the exact amount of cash seized, sources said over ₹10 crore suspected cash has been seized till now.At least half-a-dozen people, linked to alleged hawala dealer Paras Mal Lodha, are being questioned by the department.The department had launched pre-dawn raids at 52 locations on Sunday on people and associates linked to Mr. Nath.Sources had told PTI that there is a “strong possibility” of the cash recovered during the operation being used as an election inducement to fund political campaigns and bribe voters in the poll-bound State and in Delhi.A preliminary report of the raids was also shared by the department with the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Election Commission in Delhi.A cash van with large-sized trunks has been sent by the department at a location in Bhopal to seize and collect the cash found during the raids, they said.Those searched included Mr. Nath’s former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Pravin Kakkar, former adviser Rajendra Miglani, Ashwani Sharma and executives linked to his brother-in-law’s firm Moser Bayer and his nephew Ratul Puri’s company.Mr. Nath had reacted late Sunday to the development. “The situation about the I-T raids is not clear yet. It would be appropriate to speak on this after the situation is clear. But the entire country knows how the constitutional institutions were used and against whom they were used during the past five years,” he had said.“These institutions were used to scare people. When they do not have anything to say on development and their work, they used this kind of tactics against their opponents,” a statement released by the Chief Minister read.