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Reports taken from the Rhodesia Herald unless otherwise stated. - 8, 9, 10 February 1969


From our correspondent (Monday 27 January 1969)

Bring back Joe Partridge. That's my suggestion to the Rhodesian cricket selectors to give them something to think about instead of the Monday morning blues they are sure to have as they consider our dismal record for the season.

The interesting point is that Joe is one of the selectors himself. With Alwyn Pichanick and Percy Mansell, he will soon get down to thinking about the Rhodesian team to play Eastern Province in Bulawayo on February 8, 9 and 10 - and, of course, it would not be like 36-year-old Joe to push his own name for a place in the side.

But look at his claims for a berth. He tops the national bowling averages with a total of 34 wickets at a little over seven runs apiece. He is bowling as well as ever he did in his Test days, moving the ball viciously both ways, and is still operating off his full 16-pace run-up.

Rhodesia's pace bowlers in their Currie Cup disasters this season have failed miserably. Eddie Parker has taken 10 wickets at a cost of 60 apiece, and Noel Peck four for 149 runs. All-rounder Brian Davison also has an average of 40 for his 11 wickets.

Rhodesia has no points at all from five A Section matches - and was beaten by B Section side North-Eastern Transvaal, the only minor province to down one of the Big Four in friendlies this season.

Clearly, Colin Bland would love to round off the disappointing season with a victory over Eastern Province - and selector Partridge could be the man to help him do it.

Joe was a worried man at BAC yesterday when I spoke to him about likely changes for Rhodesia's final match of the season. But he thought for a long time when I asked if he would make himself available against Graeme Pollock's all-star side next month.

``It would be a backward step,'' said Joe, ``but I'd love to play. I bowled Graeme Pollock first ball last time we met - and I bet he hasn't forgotten it. I'm fit enough for three days of top cricket - but we'll have to wait and see if Alwyn and Percy consider this is the answer to the team's performances this season.

``Let's say that I'm available if chosen.''


By Cecil Whittaker (Tuesday 28 January 1969)

The suggestion that Rhodesian selector and former Springbok seam bowler Joe Partridge be included in the final Currie Cup cricket match at Bulawayo on February 8, 9 and 10, is not taken very seriously in local cricket circles. In fact, it is considered that this would be a retrograde step, as most assuredly it would be.

But following the team's lamentable record this season, and with only one match to go, the selectors would do well to make a few changes. There is no need for 'panic stations', but this represents a chance to find a better combination.

It is obvious that the Rhodesian pace attack is well below A Section standards, and rarely have the batsmen given the spin bowlers a total to bowl to. Rarely, in fact, has the team been given a decent start to an innings.

Tony Pithey will be back in time for the Bulawayo match and will undoubtedly be selected to add some stability to the brittle top batting, and with Tony de Caila having a suspect shoulder, Howie Gardiner should be brought in to bolster the middle batting. Gardiner's batting form is much improved lately.

Noel Peck is still a young man, and although he needs to improve his fielding considerably, he has undoubted bowling potential and, with a bit of coaching, he could improve on his action and pace.

Peck needs a new opening partner, and with Roy McLoughlin unfortunately out for the rest of the season, either of Salisbury's Nuffield players, Hogg or Cameron, could be given their chance. Preferably Hogg if Cameron is going to be lost to Rhodesia, and this is in the melting pot at the moment.

All-rounder Brian Davison has not had the best of breaks. But here is a man with plenty of potential, and if this young man takes his sport more seriously, he will be a great asset to Rhodesia as the third seam bowler and hard-hitting middle-order batsman. But his tendency to 'go' for the bowling must not be curbed; this will improve with experience.

And this applies equally to Gardiner, who has the ability to change the state of a match in a short space of time. Men like Davison and Gardiner are rare indeed; they should not be discouraged.

So, with a minimum of changes, my 12 for Bulawayo would read: John McPhun, Ray Gripper, Stuart Robertson, Tony Pithey, Peter Carlstein, Colin Bland (capt), Brian Davison, Howie Gardiner, Jack du Preez, John Traicos, Noel Peck and Vincent Hogg.


(Chronicle, Tuesday 28 January 1969)

``Certainly not . . . I wouldn't dream of it,'' said Queens groundsman Bobby Styles yesterday when asked if he had considered preparing a spinners' wicket for the Currie Cup cricket match between Eastern Province and Rhodesia on February 8, 9 and 10.

There is no doubt that a 'dust bowl' track would suit Rhodesia, whose main bowling strength lies in spinners Jackie du Preez and John Traicos, far more than Eastern Province, a team packed with quality seamers.

But Mr Styles, who is in sole charge of preparing the wicket for the match, said he believes it is wrong deliberately to produce a wicket which favours the home side. ``Anyway, it is very difficult to prepare a wicket which will crumble after the first day, thus aiding the spinners. There are very few groundsmen who can do this,'' he said.

Mr Styles said that the match would be played on a 'normal Queens track' - a good batting wicket which gives the quickies some assistance early on. Asked if he had ever been instructed how to prepare a wicket for a Currie Cup match, the Queens groundsman said: ``No, and I don't think I ever will be.''

*** Roy McLoughlin, the Rhodesian bowler who had his cheekbone broken by a ball from Peter Pollock during the Rhodesia-Eastern Province match a month ago, is back in Bulawayo after recuperating at his parents' home in East London. At the weekend he turned out for Llewellin Barracks - he is doing his nine months' national service - in a Reserve League match and he is expected to make a return to first league cricket soon.


By Cecil Whittaker (Monday 3 February 1966)

The Rhodesian cricket selectors have made two changes in the Currie Cup cricket side to play Eastern Province in Bulawayo this weekend.

Pace bowler Riki Cameron comes in in place of Noel Peck and Tony Pithey is back for Peter Carlstein. Jono Clarke, the opening bat, who was displaced by John McPhun on tour, is not in the side.

The team is: C Bland (capt), R Gripper (vice-capt), R Cameron, B Davison, A de Caila, J du Preez, J McPhun, E Parker, A Pithey, S Robertson and J Traicos. Twelfth man, J Heron.


By Martin Lee (Wednesday 5 February 1969)

It was lying buried beneath a green tarpaulin this afternoon following a short shower - and it's my guess the crop of pace bowlers who hope it will respond to their attentions over the weekend will go away shaking their heads sadly - and suggest somebody buries it for ever.

'It' is the Queens pitch on which Rhodesia's final Currie Cup match, in their ill-fated A Section cricket come-back season, will be played against Eastern Province.

Groundsman Bobby Styles, who has prepared wickets in Bulawayo for most of the world's top cricketers, says he expects it to be a plumb batting strip, with little help for pace bowlers, even at the start of the match. So Queens looks like being 'heartbreak house' for fast bowlers this weekend, although by inference it might mean that spinners may come into their own on the last day, due to the dryness of the whole field in recent weeks.

Eastern Province have a crop of pacemen in their side, headed by Springbok Peter Pollock. Gordon Den and Sibley McAdam lend admirable support, but if the Rhodesian batsmen can come to grips with their reputations, they could make the Port Elizabeth toil unrewarded of a batsman's paradise. It could also mean heartbreak for young Riki Cameron, called up for the Rhodesian attack after some fine schoolboy feats, and a great Nuffield Week, this season.

Rhodesia's best bowler - at least the national averages say so will be sitting in the selectors' tent, and if personal reputations count for anything any more, Joe Partridge might be secretly glad he hasn't been recalled to bowl his heart out in a bid to give Rhodesia its first Currie Cup points after a barren season.

Clearly the match will go the way of the side whose batsmen do not give their wickets away. There could be a feast of runs over the three days, although advance bookings are so thin that presumably the local public is not interested in seeing a crop of exciting batsmen get among the runs. I cannot believe that lack of support for an unsuccessful side is the only criterion - that the prospect of watching Graeme Pollock, Biggs, short, Wilmot, Bland, Pithey, Davison and others at the crease does not appeal.

Rhodesian cricket may have jilted her lovers this season - and even if we are considering suing the national XI for breach of promise - there will be plenty of fine cricket on view this weekend. And who knows - Rhodesia might even win a match.


From Martin Lee (Saturday 8 February 1969)

Rhodesian cricket has its final chance in Bulawayo this weekend to prove to its legion of fans - both in Rhodesia and South Africa - that it is not out of place in the rarified atmosphere of the Currie Cup A Section. The three-day match at Queens against Eastern Province is a vital one for both sides, for Easterns can win the trophy for the first time, and Rhodesia is determined to finish the season with some points to show for all the effort that has gone into their five matches to date.

When the teams met at Port Elizabeth at the end of the year, Eastern Province won by nine wickets. They put Rhodesia out for 186 in the first innings, with Carlstein scoring 55, McLoughlin 37 and Clarke 25. Pacemen Peter Pollock, Den and McAdam did most of the damage, claiming nine wickets between them - and tomorrow these three Rhodesian batsmen are missing from the home line-up. Carlstein and Clarke are dropped, and McLoughlin is recovering from an operation needed when a ball from Pollock dented his cheekbone.

In come John McPhun to open the innings, Tony Pithey to bolster the middle order, and 18-year-old six-footer Riki Cameron to face his Currie Cup baptism as a fast bowler, with a great season of schools cricket behind him. Says Cameron: ``I don't usually suffer from nerves. I'm a bit jittery before I bowl the first ball, but after that, I'm fine.''

And although he probably doesn't know it, the Salisbury teenager, 19 in a couple of months' time, and currently awaiting news from Wits University whether he has been accepted as a medical student, sticks out his tongue with each ball he bowls. So clearly if we are to lick Eastern Province over the next three days, Cameron has the tongue to do it.

But the onus in this match will be on the batsmen, for the concrete-hard pitch (I have a bruised knuckle to prove it) should be a batsman's paradise. It's made for run-getting, and unless any bowler finds something in this strip which is not visible to the knowing ones, the toss is very much worth winning.

Apart from their trio of pacemen, Eastern Province do not have much class in the spin department. Left-arm Neville Mallett, off-spinner Biggs and Graeme Pollock's occasional leg-spin do not compare with the genuine guile of du Preez and Traicos, and the Queens pitch could be receptive to the spinners' art on Sunday afternoon.

But so much of cricket is pure theory. We shrug our shoulders and say: ``That's what makes the game - what makes it a great game'' when things go completely against the form book, and to theorise about the match with six Springboks in action is asking for trouble.

Let's look at the few facts we know: Eastern Province have a fine opening pair of batsmen in Biggs and Short, and a quick wicket could give the Rhodesians the sort of boost they could do with. The great Graeme Pollock, Peter van der Merwe, back in action under Pollock, Wilmot and Fenix are all capable of runs galore and on paper it's a batting line-up of considerable depth.

How it will cope with off-spinner Traicos and leg-spinner du Preez is perhaps the key to the whole match. If the Rhodesian spin-twins can get anything out of the pitch, they could be match-winners, for there is little between the pace attacks on this pitch.

The Rhodesian batting list is perhaps longer than Easterns'. If Gripper and McPhun can blunt the three-pronged visiting armoury, Rhodesia certainly has the batting potential to build on a solid foundation.

The eternal optimist, I have a hunch the Rhodesians will 'come good' this weekend. It's about time the talented locals showed the rest of the cricketing continent that we're building for the future, and not biting our nails about to be relegated to the B Section.


(Sunday Mail, 9 February 1969)

Rhodesia, after being 121 for six on the first day of their A Section Currie Cup cricket match against Eastern Province at the Queens Ground here today, managed to make a first innings total of 252, thanks to a fighting 57 from all-rounder Brian Davison and a 38-run last wicket stand between new-boy pace bowler 18-year-old Riki Cameron and off-spinner John Traicos. At the close, Eastern Province were 14 for no wicket, scored in 10 minutes.

Rhodesian captain Colin Bland did his job by winning the toss and electing to bat on a slow, docile wicket, but Ray Gripper soon went, trying to loft Gordon Den, and left-hander Stuart Robertson holed out to Wilmot at square leg.

Opener John McPhun and Tony Pithey gave the batting an air of respectability, putting on 51 runs for the third wicket, but both batsmen, and Bland himself, went in quick succession and Rhodesia had half their wickets down for 113 runs.

Du Preez made a duck, and it was left to Davison and Parker to get the scoreboard moving again. They put on 62 runs in 64 minutes to change the slow run-rate, but when Davison went for 57, scored in 77 minutes with nine fours, the end was in sight.

Wicket-keeper de Caila stayed almost an hour for eight runs before losing his wicket and Rhodesia were 214-9, but new cap Cameron and Traicos lived dangerously and profitably, and saw up the 250 before Cameron was caught and bowled by Lorrie Wilmot for 25.

Rhodesia's 252 took 400 minutes, and Sibley McAdam emerged as the best bowler, with 3-28 from 17 overs. Peter Pollock took 2-25, and Neville Mallett, the left-arm spinner, took 2083 from a marathon spell of 41 overs.

The bowlers got little help from the pitch, and for Easterns to dismiss Rhodesia for 252 on a batsman's pitch was a fine achievement. Before the close, Dassie Biggs and Arthur Short showed the pitch held few terrors even at the end of the day, and Short hit fast bowler Parker for two fours in his first - and only - over. Bland used du Preez as his other opening bowler, and then gave the final over of the day to off-spinner Traicos, but the Rhodesians could not grab the wicket they wanted before the close.

Several of the Rhodesian batsmen gave away their wickets against the steady Eastern Province attack of six bowlers, well handled by skipper Graeme Pollock. Pollock generally used his attack in short spells, although Neville Mallett had spells of 14 overs, 19 overs and finally eight, to finish with figures of 41-17-83-2.

In the total of 122 overs bowled during the Rhodesian innings, no fewer than 45 were maidens, indicative of Rhodesia's slow scoring rate. Their half-hour rate was 14, 9, 14, 11, 22, 14, 9, 10, 14, 14, 41 (when Davison was in full cry), 24, 17 and 34 (when the tail-enders were looking for runs). Not a very impressive rate.


By Martin Lee (Chronicle, Monday 10 February 1969)

Most of the respected cricket critics hail Graeme Pollock as one of the world' greatest batsmen - and its my guess that the 3500 of us lucky enough to be at Queens yesterday would be the last to disagree.

The Eastern Province skipper, not 25 until the end of the month, walked out to the crease at 10.45. Three hours and 27 minutes later, he made the return trip, having scored a brilliant 166 runs out of the 273 he had helped to add to his team's total. He had seen Eastern Province safely into a 92-run first-innings lead, chalked up his 20th first-class century, passed the 7000 run mark in his first-class career, and thrilled the happy Sunday crowd with an innings of effortless ease.

The peerless Pollock, tall, fair-haired, with the face of an unsuccessful boxer, hit five sixes and 18 fours before he decided he had done enough. He made no attempt to regain his ground after going down the wicket to a ball from Traicos which de Caila grabbed before removing the bails like a reprieved murderer.

Pollock hit his sixes high over the bowlers' heads, high to the off side, and his fours all round the ground. His was a majestic mastery, especially as his team, so desperately needing at least first innings points if they were to challenge for their first Currie Cup trophy win, were in trouble at lunch. But by the end of the day, Eastern Province were in the pound seats, having grabbed four Rhodesian wickets for 81 runs, leaving the home side still 11 runs behind.

When he came in, Eastern Province had lost their consistent opening pair of Biggs and Short for 60. He had scored one run when Fenix went at 66, and a mere seven when his former Springbok skipper Peter van der Merwe, batting from memory in his first provincial match of the season, was bowled for a duck. At this stage, Traicos had 3-23 in 16 overs.

Pollock was 29 when Wilmot was brilliantly caught by Parker on the square-leg boundary, and 52 (scored in 75 minutes) when Bond went. With brother Peter at the other end, Graeme was on 67 (out of 171-6) at lunch, leaving Eastern Province still 82 runs short of their target. But although Big Brother went 12 runs later, Pollock got together with Neville Mallett to smash their way into the lead in a mere 71 runs after the interval.

They put on 50 in 33 minutes, 100 in 68 minutes, and before Mallett went for a fine 54 (one six, eight fours) the stand for the eighth wicket reached 155 in 77 minutes, only 17 runs short of a provincial record. Easterns were then 46 runs ahead, and with McAdam as a silent partner, Pollock became an effortless executioner, smashing 33 runs out of a stand of 35 (McAdam scored a single) in nine minutes.

There were but two flaws in Pollock's great innings, the second when he was 123, when a pull to midwicket 'went through' Ray Gripper and finished up for four.

The first caused a great deal of controversy in the crowd. When he was six, Pollock stabbed at a ball from Traicos, and it fell towards Tony Pithey at silly mid-off. Through my binoculars, it looked no more than a hard half-chance, but some spectators nearer the ball are convinced it was a dropped catch. A great close fielder might have turned it into a miracle catch, but Pithey could do no more than lunge desperately at the ball as it left the bat.

The innings ended with Bland making a superb sprawling catch to dismiss Den - and Easterns had scored their 344 runs in 285 minutes.

Rhodesia's lunchtime anticipation was not allowed to materialise. At the interval, off-spinner Traicos had taken 4-69. By the end, he had 6-129, the extra 60 runs coming off 11 overs, three of which were maidens. But Traicos bowled well until Mallett and Pollock tore him to shreds, and his promise was obvious to those thinking about a spinner for the Rest XI which will take on the Currie Cup champions at Bloemfontein later this year.

The Rhodesian fielding, in direct comparison to Easterns' on the opening day, never flagged, and was a credit to Bland. From the moment Ray Gripper snapped up a catch 'round the corner' to get rid of Short off Cameron's first over, the locals forgot the humidity and glare, and the ground fielding and throwing was consistently good, although de Caila was decidedly untidy behind the stumps.

When Rhodesia batted again, with 147 minutes to go, McPhun was caught by substitute Pittaway off McAdam for five, and at 54 the introduction of Lorrie Wilmot into the attack with his medium-pace seamers saw the break-through. He had Gripper caught for 32 (95 minutes, four fours) and bowled Pithey second ball.

Bland and Robertson were going steadily along towards the end of the day, with a night's sleep ahead before they resumed their uphill task. Left-arm spinner Mallett began the final over of the day to left-hander Robertson, and had the youngster scratching at every ball. Came the fifth . . . Robertson stretched forward, and looked back in disbelief as he saw a shattered set of stumps.

It was a sad end to a long, tiring, disappointing day for Rhodesian cricket.


By Martin Lee (Chronicle, Tuesday 11 February 1969)

Eastern Province leave Bulawayo today happy in the knowledge they collected the eight points they needed from an outright victory over Rhodesia in their A Section Currie Cup cricket match at Queens (they won by six wickets with 21/2 hours to spare yesterday). But Graeme Pollock apart, the Eastern Province team were certainly not that much better than the locals, except when it come to the mental approach.

The difference was that Rhodesia's batsmen went out to the middle with an inferiority complex which showed way back in the grandstand. Instead of playing their strokes and getting on with the job of scoring runs, they pottered about thinking what a great collection of bowlers Eastern Province had - and in the end, they gave their wickets away convinced they had been up against world-beaters.

Colin Bland told me before the match that A Section cricket was 'much tighter' than Section B. Of course it is - but it is no excuse for batsmen becoming bits of men, and talking themselves out of the game. This is the main reason for Rhodesia's failure to pick up a single point from this season's Currie Cup matches, judged on the Bulawayo match.

If team manager Alwyn Pichanick and skipper Colin Bland are to continue their duties next season, they must drum into their team that they are as good as anybody else, for the one object lesson which emerged from the match was that most of the Rhodesians thought that they were second-raters.

It began on the first day, when the batsmen began to 'see things' in the docile pitch. Only a lower-order fightback brought the total to 252, and when Easterns batted, it was only the masterly Graeme Pollock who really got on top to give his side the lead.

Four more Rhodesian wickets tumbled on Sunday afternoon, and it was obvious yesterday morning that not many of the batsmen left thought there would be any other result than a hiding. Davison threw his wicket away with the second ball he faced. Bland made no stroke as he shuffled in front of his stumps. Du Preez and Parker spent some time at the wicket in scoring 26 apiece before being caught off left-arm spinner Mallett - and when Peter Pollock came back with the new ball, it was all over. Rhodesia were all out for 181 in 281 minutes.

The Rhodesian batsmen must be told to think positively - or be dropped. To play the negative, jittery cricket they showed this weekend (completely alien to the normal way most of them play) is pointless . . . and pointless is where Rhodesia are, at the bottom of the Section A table.

The Eastern Province team was delighted to see the Rhodesian outlook. ``The difference between the teams,'' one of the visitors said, ``was that we went for the runs, whether we got out or not, whereas the Rhodesians tried not to get out.''

Top Eastern Province bowler yesterday was Neville Mallett, the man who put his side well on top when he bowled Robertson with the last ball on Sunday. He collected two wickets with the first 19 balls he bowled yesterday, without giving away a run, and had a spell (14.4-7-19-4) in which he mesmerised batsmen who, in a lower class of cricket, would have hit him out of sight. He ended with 5-55 - an extremely successful confidence trick.

Peter Pollock got Traicos leg-before, and Cameron edged a ball from Pollock's next over to second slip and the Springbok ended with 2-21.

Eastern Province scored their 90 runs in 118 minutes, with Short and Biggs going along steadily until Short gently tipped a ball from du Preez into Robertson's hands at slip, and Biggs found an edge playing a defensive shot and Robertson took another easy catch.

Traicos persuaded Wilmot to bang a ball straight to Gripper at midwicket and then saw Fenix hole out to McPhun on the square-leg boundary. Skipper Pollock had seen enough messing around and came in himself to hit the necessary boundary and it was all over.

On the credit side for Rhodesia are their young bowlers, Traicos, who ended with match figures of 8-149, and Cameron. The debut of Cameron was a satisfactory one, for after hitting 25 runs in the first innings, when runs were needed, he took a wicket in his first over, held two good catches and ended with 2-63 and 0-17 (from nine overs).

He was ragged in his second spell in Sunday, when Pollock and Mallett got after him, but he is well worth another chance. I wish I could say the same about three or four others who have been in the Rhodesian team for some time . .

*** 6227 spectators watched the game (621 yesterday).

FIVE TEAMS IN A SECTION LIKELY (Johannesburg, Tuesday)

From Trevor Bisseker (Wednesday 19 February 1969)

With the right of Western Province to return to A Section cricket now beyond question, five teams are likely to contest the Currie Cup next season.

All the indications are that Western Province will be promoted and Rhodesia retained in the A Section. There may be some thoughts about promoting North-Eastern Transvaal as well, but the impending withdrawal of Northern Transvaal from the provincial association will probably deter the South African Cricket Board from adding a sixth team to the list.

One imagines the Currie Cup next year will be all over in January, in view of the Australian tour. In a five-team A Section, one round of matches would provide a good contest, and also give the players plenty of big-match competition.

Although Rhodesia did badly this season, there are good reasons why they should be given another chance in the A Section. Peter van der Merwe, the former Springbok captain, put it well: ``Even a good boxer, put into the ring with a champion, is likely to be pulverised. He doesn't know where the blows are coming from. But allow him a second chance and he will probably give a reasonable account of himself.

``I think it would be a good idea to have five teams in the A Section. A four-team contest is very tough on the promoted team, which has been playing in a much weaker class of cricket, and on top of that, it's a bit too cut-throat for anybody's good.''

The retention of Rhodesia in the A Section would also keep the Rhodesian Test candidates, Colin Bland, Jackie du Preez and perhaps the off-spin bowler, John Traicos, in trim before the arrival of the Australians.

Apart from bringing Eddie Barlow back into first-class competition, the promotion of Western Province would give the country's leading batsmen the chance to play on the slow Newlands pitch which has so often led to their downfall in Tests. Besides, it would be nice to sit under the oaks again.

[Note: this is indeed what was to take place during the 1969/70 season.]


By Cecil Whittaker (Wednesday 22 February 1969)

``Our biggest need in Rhodesian cricket is to establish an opening attack,'' Mr Alwyn Pichanick, Rhodesian selector and team manager, told members of the Sportswriters' and Broadcasters' Club at a luncheon in Salisbury yesterday. Mr Pichanick was discussing the reasons for Rhodesia's dismal Currie Cup record in the A Section this season, when they lost all their matches.

Two vital factors contributed to Rhodesia's downfall, said Mr Pichanick. ``Our bowlers did not appear to be able to maintain a vice-like grip over the top opposition batsmen, as did our opponents to us,'' he said.

Mr Pichanick said it was difficult to say whether the Rhodesian batsmen had not done as well as they should have. Other than in the last match in Bulawayo, when the pitch was slow and it was difficult to play strokes, the Rhodesian batsmen did not do too badly considering the opposition. At Bulawayo, he said, the only man who could make strokes was Graeme Pollock, who, despite his genius, took at least half an hour to settle down. All the other batsmen had to apply themselves and take runs where they could. Rhodesians, he said, had always been told at team meetings to keep the scoreboard moving, but the Rhodesians had unfortunately lost wickets at vital times.

The biggest contributory factor to Rhodesia's downfall, he said, was the seam bowling of the opposition. These were the same bowlers who bowled the Springboks to victory over the Australians. They contained the Australian batsmen as they had never before been contained in South Africa. And added to these bowlers were newcomers like Sibley McAdam of Eastern Province, and Vintcent van der Bijl of Natal, who seem destined to make the Springbok side.

Rhodesia, on the other hand, had to rely on their spin bowlers, and it was noticeable that in Jack du Preez and John Traicos Rhodesia has the best pair of spinners in Southern Africa.

Equally important, he said, was the fact that our batsmen did not make enough runs. At various times all the players turned in responsible innings, but never did Rhodesia get off to a good start and not one made a big score, such as Ali Bacher for Transvaal and Pollock for Eastern Province.

And as so often happens to struggling teams, the breaks went against Rhodesia. ``We make no complaints about umpiring decisions,'' he said, ``for generally speaking they balance out. But unfortunately some decisions came at vital stages.''

Mr Pichanick felt it was impossible for a side promoted to the A Section to adapt itself to the high standard of play in one season, and he felt a promoted side should be given at least two seasons in the senior zone.

He opposed any suggestions of a complete sweep being made of the Rhodesian side, especially should they stay in the A Section. ``We must blend in the young players with the experienced men and introduce them gradually,'' he said.

He did not think the present four-team A Section was in the best interests of cricket in the long term, although it has raised the standard of Test cricket, and he suggested that some sides, such as Border and Eastern Province and Free State and Griquas, could combine to form strong teams.


Tuesday 11 March 1969

Peter Carlstein, the Springbok and Rhodesian cricketer, has decided to retire from cricket after the festival at the Alexandra Sports Club this weekend.

``I've had a wonderful long innings, and I feel that now is the time to say farewell to the happiest game I have ever played,'' he said today.

Carlstein, who came to Salisbury in October 1967, was chosen for Rhodesia the same year. He has played for Rhodesia for the past two years. His better scores include a century against Natal B, 88 against Western Province, 94 against Transvaal B and 99 against Natal in an A Section game this year.

Carlstein, now an insurance agent, has played cricket for Free State, Natal, Transvaal, Rhodesia and South Africa, inter-provincial hockey for Free State and Transvaal, rugby for Western Transvaal, and in the athletics field he held the junior Free State 440yd record at 49.6sec.

``I feel that I have reached the crossroads now and have had to make up my mind between sport and my family and my future. I have had 16 years of senior sport, which is a pretty good innings.

``Colin Bland has been one of the finest captains it has been my privilege to play under. And I think Rhodesia has potentially a very good side, especially when I see the younger players coming up. I sincerely hope that Bland, Jack du Preez, Stuart Robertson and John Traicos make the Springbok side to tour England next year. Robertson and Traicos have tremendous potential,'' he said.

``I feel the Rhodesian selectors must put the accent on youth next year. Men like Cameron, McLoughlin and Hogg should go far with proper handling.''

Carlstein, who is 31, played in eight Tests - against Australia in 1957/58 (one), again in 1963/64, when he played two, and against England in 1960 when he played in all five.

Carlstein, whose highest first-class score was 229 against the Cavaliers in 1962/63, hit six centuries, and his best season was 1962/63, hen he scored 852 in eight matches at an average of 71. He was South African 'Cricketer of the Year' in 1963.

*** Note: This was one of several 'retirements' during Peter Carlstein's career. He returned to South Africa and appeared for Transvaal for two seasons, before returning to Rhodesia for several more seasons, where he finished his career.

CARRY ON, BLAND (Johannesburg, Wednesday)

Thursday 26 June 1969

South Africa today told Rhodesia to 'carry on cricketing' in the Currie Cup A Section.

The South African Cricket Association went so far as to restyle the A Section to keep Rhodesia in. Five teams, instead of the customary four, will play in the section.

Pointless last season, Rhodesia should have been relegated to he B Section to make way for Western Province. But with the Australians coming for a Test series in January, the cricket chiefs want to keep Rhodesians like Colin Bland and Jackie du Preez in the big-match bracket.

And SACA deliberately set out to arrange the fixture list to provide the best possible match practice for Test candidates before the Aussies arrive.