Interview with Clive Rice

Former South African all-rounder, Clive Rice, was interviewed at Newlands, Cape Town on 8 March 1997 during the second day's play of the Supersport match between Western Province and Natal. The interview was conducted on the irc channel #cricket. Clive was assisted in the interview by Sarah Chesterfield (grimmett on irc).

Grimmett: Hey guys - I have Clive Rice with me. National Selector, Director of the National Plascon Cricket Academy, former SA captain and partly responsible, tomorrow, for the selection of the SA side to play Aus in the 2nd Test at PE.

ksrao: Clive - what were your impressions of the first historic tour to India?

CliveRice: The fantastic support and knowledge of the locals of the game of cricket - also the poverty that exists among the vast majority of the population and the fact that the Indians are very keen to keep your eye OFF the ball by distracting you with all sorts of entertainment off the field ;-) Takes a great of focus to concentrate on the game

vishal: There was a lot of goodwill between the two teams during that tour - do you think it has deteriorated somewhat now?

CliveRice: there was a lot of goodwill, because India helped to vote SA back into World Cricket but that is now over, and we have to concentrate on rowing our own boat. There's still obviously a great deal of respect and goodwill that exist, but you cannot go on thanking India for their support at that level.

rogan: Clive - what is the thinking behind resting the Test bowlers from the tour games and domestics? Even where in some cases they may want to have a bowl?

CliveRice: I think it was good for them to have a rest, because they weren't shown to the Australians. Also the pressures that were put on the main bowlers - you need to actually give them a break so they can stay fresh

vishal: Do you think Steve Waugh is unquestionably the best batsman in the world right now? (I do :-))

CliveRice: If you speak to Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock (in fact the whole SA team) they would no doubt agree
CliveRice: :-)

vishal: shall I ask again?

CliveRice: heh

vishal: You spent a lot of time playing for Notts(?) when Imran was playing for Sussex - do you remember any stories about "ball tampering" back then?

CliveRice: I do know of ball-tampering then... but it was still relatively early in terms of its exploitation, particularly with regard to scuffing of the ball

worhp: ok, current relevance question; was sledging so prevelant in RSA during your time ? :)

CliveRice: Oh, we were angels, worhp

Ros: In a recent irc interview, Dr Bacher said: "Our primary objective in SA cricket is to ensure that ultimately our SA team on merit has representation from all the different peoples of our country. We're not there yet, but we will get there. I would predict that this vision will become a reality in the early part of the next decade." What are your comments on this?

CliveRice: there are some very exciting young players, black white, coloured, who will no doubt make the national side and you will be very pleasantly surprised how they play This is all a result of Khaya Majola and the Devt Programme that he is heading up, and seeing that come to fruition

rogan: Clive - In your role as head of the cricket academy, are you playing any part in the development of the so called "virtual reality" spin bowling for RSA bats? Do you think this will help? Is it on some level an admittal that despite a good series v India, RSA's batting's weakness is still good spin?

CliveRice: What is this "Virtual Reality" spin bowling?

rogan: someone in cape town is developing it - at a uni there. I guess it's not linked to the academy :-)

CliveRice: I know about the program - it may certainly help in terms of what is going on but it would mean that Warne is analysed completely in terms of what he bowls, whether it is the flipper or the leg break, you would know. It would obviously take a lot of devt to create this, but it would probably mean that Joe Public could go into a virtual setup and play deliveries from Allan Donald or Shane Warne without being hit, and they might appreciate it a lot more than reality but it is certainly a future entertainment situation which you will find in the amusement parks

CliveRice: Is this a question from Australia?? ;-)

rogan: yes :-)

Waughzone: Clive, as an (expatriate and) diehard WP supporter - with a long memory, I remember the "Khourie and Rice" combination all too well:(( Can you tell us what has happenend to Allan? What is he doing these days? I s he helping SA in their spin development at all?

CliveRice: WZ: Allan Kourie helps at the academy with the spin bowling - and he has his own sports marketing business - sports products. Sends all his WP supporters his regards

worhp: clive: would Cullinan be a warne expert, then ? Seriously, do you thnk the good pin bowling is the diff between the current Aus and RSA team ?

vishal: 9 pin bowling or 10 pin one :-)?

worhp: pin=spin :)

CliveRice: worhp: NO, we need to get daryll on the virtual reality vs Shane Warne ;-)) I think the difference between aus and rsa is the fact that the aus batting was much more disciplined in nature than that of SA, but Shane Warne nevertheless is a world class bowler

shariq: Clive you and Hadlee both played for Nottinghamshire. You were captain. After the rule of one foreign player per English county came into effect, how did you and Richard manage the scenario?

CliveRice: shariq: the rule then was that both of us could play, but should one of us retire, he couldn't be replaced by a foreigm pro so we could both play in one match - and it was a pleasure to open the bowling and have him in the team with me

rogan: Clive - were you ever tempted to try and qualify for another Test nation?

CliveRice: yes, I was sorely tempted, but ultimately there was no chance of me qualifying for england, even though I do have British citizenship (dual c'ship).

vishal: Clive - Test Cricket is suddenly seeing a lot of results. Is it because One Day Cricket has destroyed disciplined batting? Is it a good thing?

CliveRice: ODI has had a massive influence in Test Cricket - because recently Azharuddin and Klusener got 100s at Newlands in equal balls, which you would expect in ODIs. I do think it is a good thing, because cricket is all about entertainment and seeing somebody block the ball all day for maybe 200 runs, is not what cricket is all about in the modern era. I don't think that it has destroyed the discipline in the batting - that should always remain.

vishal: (I'll try that question on Gavaskar sometime if we get him :-))

worhp: clive: in your opinion, do you think 3rd umps should be called for more than line decisions ? (maybe except atherton for his 180* :)

CliveRice: I think we need two umpires in the middle, and one doing tv - because if an umpire is being consistent, you want it for both sides in the middle. The third umpire should help the umps in the middle in many more ways than the line decisions, including lbws. The players want the correct decision on the field, and if this would allow them to get it - you will not have the controversy

ksrao: for lbw - should it simply be TV replay or massive computer program to see if the ball would have hit the stumps?

CliveRice: yes, both tv replay and computer programs should be used

shariq: Clive what is your opinion about having one home umpire and one umpire from another country officiating test matches?I think it is not such a good idea. And what about match referees? How come they are not firmer about indiscipline on the field? Would you ever take up th position as a match referee? If yes then what would you do which is different?

CliveRice: shariq: I think the ideal would be two neutral umpires - but then umps whould never stand in their home country, which would be disappointing for them Match refs should NOT be firmer about indiscipline on the field = that adds to the character of the game and players. I suppose I would take up a match ref position - but you would have to find time to spend six weeks away from your business in order to do that

bdread: A comment/question: increased use of tv replays for more decisions would tend to make the 2 umps in the middle impotent/indecisive. They do not want to be overruled by the TV so they become indecisive. This is what happened in the NFL (American Football) when this was used. Thoughts?

CliveRice: bdread - the imprtant thing is that they give you the right decision If you want controversies, don't involve tv in decisions

shariq: Clive do you think cricket should be played in indoor arenas?

CliveRice: shariq - I think you would be VERY disappointed being caught off the rafters when you thought it was heading for a six.... :-)))))

vishal: What are your impressions of internet/irc Clive?

CliveRice: I'm learning *wry laugh* I will definitely get connected to the internet, but I need it more for the business than just playing cricket

rogan: Clive - when picking a team, do you ever take into account a player's luck? Bad umpire decisions, etc?

CliveRice: You make your own luck, but bad umpiring decisions will certainly be considered. We consider both actual performance and statisttical performance, also the players' psychological state would influence our decisions. The way we pick the team: We tick off the obvious choices, then we consider all the candidates for the positions we need to fill. An obvious choice would be someone who is getting good runs or big hauls of wickets consistently.

rogan: do you discuss it till you find consensu, like a jury, or do you simply take a vote?

CliveRice: we try to take as few votes as possible - so we discuss till consensus is reached. Two days was the longest selection meeting I have had (while still captain) Now, as National selector, the longest meeting we've had has been two hours.

vishal: You definitely don't seem to be a "purist" and seem to support all kinds of innovations. Any personal ones you'd like to see come in World Cricket?

CliveRice: I would like to have lateral thinking when it comes to the way cricket is evolving It should never stagnate. I think the one day game has to change - because the fast bowlers are currently eliminated from one of their greatest assets that of bowling a short delivery at the batsmen, and I think we probably need to have one more player being allowed to field on the boundary during those first 15 overs

vishal: How about women umpires :-)?
vishal: Clive - it would be a start :-)

CliveRice: I would like the umpires to be ppl who have played the game at the highest level preferrably - they have then experienced the situation that they are having to cast a decision upon
CliveRice: Vishal - do you think that would clean up the language on the field???? :-))

cricketer: who would you rate, the number one one day batsmen in the world ?

CliveRice: cricketer: selecting the best player in the world today is extremely difficult - how long is a piece of string? The really good players today are Lara, Tendu, Azhar, Mark Waugh - they all tend to be top order batsmen. The middle order batsmen, who are under a lot more pressure - the likes of Jonty Rhodes and Steve Waugh, who score at a run a ball, are outstanding players, and I wouldn't mind all of them in my team

cricketer: but all these players aren't that consistant

CliveRice: cricketer: that is the nature of OD cricket - it does not allow for consistency. Those are all match-winners

bdread: What do you think about the amount of cricket being played today, It seems like players are on a constant treadmill of international cricket. I even have trouble keeping up with who's playing where and who will be where next :-).

CliveRice: bdread: I would love to have played under those circumstances :-) We played almost everyday in England anyway.

vishal: Clive - a lot of us "fans on irc" would like a drastic reduction in the number of ODIs - we would prefer more Tests - longer series. Your opinion?

CliveRice: We should play MORE ODIs because we get full houses. Cricket should be about entertainment

grimmett has fainted

Waughzone: Clive, given the low attendance numbers at the Wanderers test, do you think that there should be restricted broadcasting to the city which is hosting the test? If so - how would you balance this policy against that of making cricket accessible to more south africans?

CliveRice: there are a whole number of factors accounting for the low attendance figures - ticket prices, rugby season starting (Super 12), and also the amount ppl have to spend on cricket. Television in SA is not able to cut out tv, like they do in Aus for areas and as a result we don't know the effect of this technology

bdread: Excuse the question Clive but I never got to see you play for obvious reasons...but are you the legendary SA cover fielder I read about? :-)

rogan: Colin Bland?

bdread: ok thanks

vishal: plain Rice is very Bland :-)

CliveRice: I would have love to have fielded like Colin Bland, but if I dived around like Jonty Rhodes, my career would have been over at age 30, suffering from whiplash, broken bones and strained back, dislocated shoulder. I've had more brains than doing that ;-)

igloo: Can you explain the absence of consistent world class fast bowling allrounders outstandingly proficient in both areas in the game today? In the 1980s, we had Kapil, Hadlee, you, Imran and Botham...

CliveRice: Igloo: Currently you have McMillan, Klusener, Pollock, Cairns (NZ) It goes through eras - like the WI fast bowling riches of a while ago

vishal: Do you think Cricket can become popular in the Americas?

CliveRice: it would take some time It will have to start with the WIndian influence.

bdread: Do you believe like (I believe Dalmiya of India does) that test cricket should be modified so that a result is always guaranteed?

CliveRice: you are never going to guarantee a result, because the weather has an influence in the game

igloo: I realize the need to innovate to sustain the game's appeal but do you not think your proposal to play more odis. mechanization of the game leads to a loss of human control over cricket (both that of the players bein able to control what they see as the right amount of cricket rather than having it dictated by boards and TV syndicates?)

CliveRice: the control of the game is not that important. It is the playing of it that is important - that makes it healthy.

vishal: Did you ever have a rivalry going with Mike Procter?

CliveRice: all the time

vishal: Who was better :-)?

CliveRice: hardly ever played in my time other than World Series Cricket and the odd game against the Rebels. So, it was war! :-)

CliveRice: Vishal - if you are asking me, me. If you are asking Mike, Mike But we always backed ourselves.

bdread: What do you think of the change in the rules with respect to short pitched bowling by pacers?

CliveRice: bdread: I think the playing condition applied in tests is fair - two bouncers/over. I think in ODIs, you HAVE to be allowed to bowl a bouncer at the batsman

rogan: Clive - is team selection the most rewarding post-cricket pursuit? Any interest in cricket admin thru UCB or ICC?

CliveRice: joshua: no, team selection is NOT the most rewarding thing to do - if they win, it is THEIR team, if they lose, it is YOUR team....\

CliveRice: in terms of the rewards of seeing the encouragement you gave to a player come to fruition, it is very satisfying on a personal level. I am involved in the Plascon National academy - and that is on behalf of the UCB.

igloo: As a national selector in the new South Africa, what kind of feeder system/goals have you set in place to ensure that the RSA team truly reflects the population?

CliveRice: We want to pick the best team on merit, and we don't mind who is in the side, as long as it is the best. We have to ensure we GET the best, so the development of all players have to happen to ensure we have the widest choice.

letters to the editor: email

About CI Interactive | Dream League | Email to | StampIt Footer -->
Date-stamped : 28 Feb1999 - 11:26