WHAT do you think sports stars, coaches and administrators would like for Christmas? We have a few thoughts of our own:
SA test captain Graeme Smith: A sponsor for his obviously successful weight-loss programme, and a reason to keep playing ODIs.
SA allrounder Jacques Kallis: A reason not to play anything but test cricket and, of course, in the Indian Premier League. And golf; lots and lots of golf.
SA wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile: An explanation why he should bother turning up at SA training sessions, considering they are never going to give him a game.
SA leg spinner Imran Tahir: A personal, portable airstrip – complete with lights – for his landings after wicket celebrations.
SA fast bowler Dale Steyn: More skin. That way he can get more tattoos.
SA wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock: A test cap.
Cricket SA chief executive- in-exile Haroon Lorgat: His job back, which he will get once the Indian tour is over.
Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber: A more reliable car and a slightly less competitive teammate.
Team New Zealand: Killer instinct. Just the tiniest bit would have earned them the America’s Cup.
French rugby referee Romain Poite: An invitation to the Du Plessis family farm for Christmas dinner.
The England cricket team: Unseasonably foul weather in Melbourne and Sydney to avoid an Ashes Series whitewash.
Wallaby miscreant James O’Connor: The walkabout utility back could do with the notion that one for the road means one for the road.
Manchester United manager David Moyes: A shadow he can call his own.
Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie: A state-of-the-art GPS to help him find the route to goal. There are times when it seems that Rantie would not score even if the goalkeeper was blindfolded and had one hand tied behind his back.
Pitso Mosimane: An audio recording of his own interviews so he finally understands what he puts us through every time he goes within 100m of a microphone.
Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa: A rear-view mirror to see who is sneaking up to knife him in the back.
Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke: Eyes in the back of his head the next time he comes to South Africa. Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula is looking for you, Jerome. Seriously, Mbaks is looking for you and he’s not amused.
Pine Pienaar: A smile. The Blue Bulls may have been poor in this year’s Currie Cup, but even when they did manage to put in good performances and claim wins, nothing was enough to put a smile on their grim-faced coach Pienaar, who does not laugh even at his own jokes.
Johan Ackermann: A Bell’s. Not much was expected from the Golden Lions coach when he took over the coaching reins at the province from New Zealander John Mitchell in a tough year where they lost their place in Super Rugby and also lost some of their star players, but he managed to fight back and coach the side to playing some of the most entertaining rugby in the country with his side made up of lesser-known players.
Lionel Cronje: Luck. The well-travelled 24-year-old was once considered one of the most promising young flyhalves in the country since his schoolboy days – until injuries and a lack of game time hit. He has now been signed by Australian side the Brumbies on a two-year deal, where he will hope luck will be on his side and he will be able to finally live up to the hype.
Gio Aplon: Extra height and weight. The Stormers and Western Province wing-fullback has been by far one of this year’s outstanding players in both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup, but at 175cm and 78kg, “Pocket Dynamo” falls short of the “bulky” build Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer wants in his side.
ýCompiled by Liam del Carme, Telford Vice, Mninawa Ntloko and Chumani Bambani