i have NO idea - i think it was a sortof "foreign glamour" thing at first (he'd hardly played any first-class cricket in s.a. before he was pciked; i think he was playing for warwickshire?)... and then he just sortof stuck around. (he doesn't even bat, which has traditionally been sortof expected from spinners in the s.a. line-up)Paquito wrote:Johan, if you're still out there - why is Paul Harris playing? He appears to be the latest in a all too long line of non-spinning SA spinners (N.Boje, C.Henderson, R.Peterson). Is there no-one in SA who can turn it?
it's a cliche, and not altogether true, but our pitches here don't really turn - you're on a bit of a hiding to nothing trying (that's the usual argument, anyway) and spinners are often treated as holding bowlers while the seamers rest up.
(if i had to speculate on the reasons for this, i'd probably point to the fact that sport - white sport, at any rate - was massively dominated by rugby, and i think we play cricket with a bit of a rugby-playing mentality too: by which i mean that we treat it as a game of physical courage and exertion, and a sortof mano-a-mano game. the quick's try to hurt the batsmen, and the batsmen try to tough it out... which is also, i think, why we've tended to produce gritty, slow-scoring batsmen, with a few exceptions.
spin, by contrast, is more of a cerebral, patient enterprise... and i think kids who are focused more on rugby see it as wussy and boring
then there's the coaching element: the levels of coaching here tend to be pretty low - and it's easier to teach yourself how to be either a quick or a "slow bowler" (as opposed to a "spinner") by yourself; to be a real turner, you need a lot more specialist coaching, i think (with paul adams being the obvious exception: and yet, he's probably the only recent s.a. spinner who has actually turned it, BECAUSE - as his action shows - he was largely self-taught)
(for next week's "johan's cricket sociology seminar" we will be discussing the topic: "whites: an appropriate dress for post-apartheid cricket?")
oh, and in other news: andre nel in "i'm a complete fucking nutter" shocker
http://www.google.co.za/search?hl=en&sa ... ther&meta=" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
i hope trescothick is suitably humbled in his "i'm so mentally unstable" pretence