Local cricketer Olivia Anderson is making a name for herself in England. (Image: Cricinfo) South Africa was recently chosen to host the inaugural ICC Women’s Cricket Challenge, which will take place in Potchefstroom, North West province, from 6 to 16 October 2010.The tournament will be played under the auspices of the International Cricket Council (ICC), with Cricket South Africa (CSA) as the official host.According to the ICC, the challenge will take the form of all-women teams, currently ranked between fifth and 10th in the world, competing in a series of one day intenational (ODI) and Twenty20 fixtures. Countries in the line-up are South Africa, the Netherlands, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Ireland.“This tournament is an ideal way for the women’s teams ranked outside of the top four to gain more match experience in both ODI and Twenty20 formats,” ICC global development manager Matthew Kennedy said in a statement.The first round of the challenge will consist of ODIs, while the spectators’ favourite – the Twenty20 games – will begin on 14 October. Most of the matches will be played at the North West University’s Potchefstroom campus.It’s hoped the October competition will shake up women’s ODI rankings and enable some of the competing countries to qualify for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to be played in India in 2013.“The tournament will also provide a good challenge for all six competing teams, as none of them has yet qualified for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup,” Kennedy said.The top-four women ODI teams – England, New Zealand, India and defending champions Australia – have already qualified for the World Cup, which features eight nations.South Africa participated in the 2009 World Cup held in Australia, and hosted it in 2005.The country’s female players are expected to perform well in the African qualifier games, which will wrap up in December 2010.The final international qualifiers, to be held in Bangladesh in November 2011, will see 10 nations battle it out for the four remaining World Cup spots.SA women on a good wicketSouth Africa’s first national women’s cricket squad was selected in 1997 and since then the country taken bold steps to develop the sport for females – this includes setting up the Cricket South Africa Women’s Cricket Committee.Women’s cricket gained further momentum in South Africa at the start of the millennium when competitions such as the interprovincial league were initiated. In the early 2000s more than 9 000 females from 1 109 schools and 269 clubs were playing cricket, according to CSA.Local batswoman Olivia Anderson, who debuted for South Africa in 2008, is currently making a name for herself in the UK playing for Shepperton Cricket Club. She’s racked up 1 000 runs this season, after scoring 76 off 66 balls in a match against Purley Redoubtables on 8 August.Although the final player selections for the October challenge have yet to be announced, Anderson is one of the favourites for the South African squad.
29 November 2013Entries for the 2014 Comrades Marathon will close at the end of business on Friday, a day earlier than had been planned because the cap of 18 000 runners has been reached ahead of schedule.In recent years the cap has been implemented for logistical and organisational purposes; the race has been oversubscribed since 2009.Online and in-house entries at the Comrades Marathon offices in Pietermaritzburg will close at 16:30 on Friday. However, Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) General Manager Chris Bruwer said: “We will still accept postal entries, but they must be postmarked by the Post Office with [the] date of 29 November 2013. Entries made after this date will be rejected.”Heightened interestSince a massive entry in 2010, when the Guinness World Records recognised the Comrades Marathon as the biggest ultra-marathon in the world, and the event was named the winner of the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards for South Africa’s “Best Sport Participation Event”, there has been a heightened interest in the race, which was first run in 1921.The 2010 race, which benefited from the excitement surrounding the 2010 Fifa World Cup, had 23 568 entries, with 14 343 runners finishing before the 12-hour cut-off time.The iconic road running race enjoys recognition as Africa’s oldest marathon and ultra-marathon at the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).2014 raceNext year’s event will be the 89th running of the Comrades Marathon. It was only during the Second World War, in the years from 1941 to 1945, that it was not held.Pietermaritzburg will host the start of next year’s Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 1 June. Competitors are allowed up to 12 hours to reach the finish in Durban.The defending men’s champion will be South African Claude Moshiywa, while Elena Nurgalieva, the defending women’s champion, will have an opportunity to match Bruce Fordyce’s nine wins in the race.SAinfo reporter and Comrades Marathon
Data is important. But insight and wisdom is more important. You have to look behind the numbers to find meaning, or its useless.