Connect with us

Latest

Frustration builds for school sports as travel, club teams play

Published

on

Frustration builds for school sports as travel, club teams play

Twice a week, Christine Krempa drives from Johnstown to Albany to drop off her two daughters for practice with ADK Field Hockey, more than comfortable with the procedures the club has put in place to protect players and coaches from COVID-19.

Why then, Krempa wonders, can’t she implement similar procedures in her role as the field hockey coach at Johnstown High School, and host the summer league that’s played a vital role in building a program that finished as state runners-up in 2019?

“I just can’t do it,” Krempa said. “I can’t get on the field. There’s really no way around it. There’s no loophole.”

Krempa’s frustration is shared by many athletes, parents and coaches desperate for school teams to find some way to get on the field this summer.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been expected to announce this week whether the coronavirus transmission rate is low enough for schools across the state to reopen for in-person learning this fall, but, even then, the New York Public High School Athletic Association — acting on the recommendations of the association’s COVID-19 Task Force — has already pushed back the start date for fall sports from Aug. 24 to Sept. 21, with the potential of moving to a format of three condensed seasons that would see winter, fall and spring sports jammed into a shortened span of time that would start in January.

Meanwhile, many travel teams and recreation leagues for “low-risk” sports across the state have been operating since early July under Phase 4 of the state’s reopening guidelines, with some school facilities allowed to be used by private entities even as the normal summer slate of weight-room sessions and open gyms for high school sports has remained off-limits due to state guidelines.

The ensuing confusion — and resentment — from many parties was predictable.

“I’m all for safety,” Krempa said. “I understand the reasoning. . . . I just think it’s a little bit of a double standard that they’re letting other clubs, little leagues, youth soccer and travel this and that proceed, where I feel like I have a better vested interest in keeping those kids safe, because I want them to have a season. I don’t want someone to get sick or spread something.”

Some groups have taken to social media to voice their opinions.

Kevin Many, of Slate Hill, operates the Twitter account @LetThemPlay2020 on behalf of New Yorkers for Student Athletes, a group that also has a presence on Facebook and Instagram, and has spent the last month pleading that, as the state’s coronavirus numbers have been consistently low in recent weeks, something should be done to allow student-athletes to safely begin to work out with their high school teammates.

“New York’s really doing well compared to everywhere else,” Many said. “There’s travel teams out there playing left and right, with not a lot of social distancing going on, and one of the things we’re pushing is: Why can’t the kids at least get together and do conditioning? Do it spread out, social-distanced; they don’t have to use the locker room.”

When asked for comment, NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas referred to current guidelines from the state for the eventual reopening of schools, which states “Interscholastic athletics are not permitted at the time of publication and must only operate in accordance with forthcoming State-issued guidance.”

With the decision on the reopening of schools forthcoming, NYSPHSAA remains dependent on further state guidance for its next move. Zayas declined comment beyond referring to current guidelines, while multiple Section II coaches also declined comment for this report.

“We continue to wait for more guidance from the state as to what we can do to bring high school athletics back,” NYSPHSAA director of communications Chris Watson said. “Once we get that guidance, we’ll feel a lot better about knowing the differences and where we can go from there.”

LIABILITY VS. SAFETY

While coaches such as Krempa are confident they could provide a safe atmosphere for their athletes to get ready for the season, the travel sports vs. school sports quandary largely boils down to one issue: Liability.

“If a coach decided to be cavalier and take his team out and practice regardless of what the governor says — perhaps go to a town field or something — and something happens, then the school district is liable for that,” said Dr. Jim Wright, the associate director of the New York State Athletic Administrators Association and a member of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force. “As a coach, you can’t assume the risk, because they’re indemnified. They’re not going to sue the coach; they’re going to sue the district.”

This is an issue that existed long before the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on sports, said Carla Pasquarelli, an athletic trainer at St. Mary’s Healthcare who serves as the trainer at Amsterdam High School and for the Amsterdam Mohawks, who returned to play this summer as a part of the four-team Independent Collegiate Baseball League.

“The job of the school is to keep the kids safe,” Pasquarelli said. “We don’t want to put anyone in a position where their safety’s at risk. I’m not saying that youth sports do, but there’s a different set of rules. Even before COVID, the travel teams did one thing and the school sports did another thing.”

Beyond liability, travel and club sports have certain advantages that school programs don’t. Players can arrive to games individually, rather than on crowded buses, and modifications to provide for social distancing can be made with less red tape.

“We don’t have the liabilities that the school does,” said Dave Fields, president of the Niskayuna Baseball League and a former assistant baseball coach at Colonie High School. “That makes sense to me. It’s frustrating, but at the same time, school sports are an extension of the education program, and that’s got problems right now. I understand why it’s the way it is.”

At the same time that Union College football coach Jeff Behrman was coming to grips with the cancellation of his 2020 season, he was also taking his son Brock — a rising junior at Niskayuna High School and one of the state’s top lacrosse players — to multiple showcase events.

While Jeff Behrman said Brock’s summer schedule hasn’t been as busy as a typical summer, it’s not due to a lack of confidence in health and safety procedures.

“I was confident with the way that the organizations and the programs were handling everything,” he said. “The teams followed those (protocols) and did what was right for the young athletes and their families.”

THE MENTAL TOLL

From the time the pandemic struck New York hard in March, schools were closed and the spring sports season was canceled, young athletes were cooped up at home for extended periods.

When the chance to play travel and rec sports opened up in July, it was seen by many as a godsend for those desperate to finally get back to playing sports at some level.

“It’s almost like a relief that we were able to do it,” Fields said.

While Niskayuna did cancel its rec program — which traditionally has around 400 players — after two polls of the league’s parents showed a substantial number uncomfortable with playing this summer, the league did start up its travel program for the year, with 108 players participating across multiple age groups.

The ability to play sports again provided a vital outlet for many young athletes who felt cramped for months.

It’s something Krempa saw firsthand at home. One of her daughters, she said, dealt with depression over the months of lockdown, over-exercising in an attempt to stay in shape and dropping weight she didn’t need to lose because she was “running like a mad woman.”

Krempa and her husband helped their daughter deal with the problem, but what really turned her mental state around was the start of ADK Field Hockey’s summer program.

“That’s when she had her outlet back to do something outside of these four walls,” Krempa said.

Jeff Behrman has seen the situation progress from the perspective of both a coach and as the parent of a high-level athlete.

At the same time Behrman was taking his son to his first events of the summer in July, he was also telling his Union football players that their 2020 season wouldn’t be taking place.

“I think once you get over the initial shock of ‘this is really happening,’ and then you step back and you understand that it’s the best thing to do, and we just have to continue moving forward,” Behrman said.

For athletes, coping with the loss or postponement of a season has been about maintaining a sense of optimism.

UAlbany football players were gutted last month when their 2020 season was — at the very least — postponed, but have tried to keep their spirits up knowing the potential of getting to play their season next spring.

“We are eventually going to play football at some point,” rising redshirt sophomore linebacker Joe Casale said during a conference call with reporters last month. “Knowing you’re going to play football is enough motivation for me to keep going.”

But there’s still some frustration, even for those who have been able to play this summer.

“I do see frustration in kids that are two- and three-sport athletes that usually are winding down right now,” Fields said. “They told us, ‘I can’t commit to baseball in August, because I have football.’ Well, now they don’t have football. They’re with us, but they’re frustrated that they’re not doing what they’d normally do.”

THE WAITING GAME

ADK Field Hockey is scheduled to wrap up its summer work this week, which normally would allow players a brief break before joining their school teams.

Not this year.

This year, if schools open and fall sports begin as currently planned on Sept. 21, that will mean a six-week break — a long gap even for those who did get to play at the club level this summer.

It’s going to take a toll, Krempa said, both on physical conditioning and mental health.

“If we can’t do anything, if the governor continues to have this moratorium on us and we have a season that starts on Sept. 21, my first game is Sept. 29,” she said. “I can’t get girls in game shape in eight days, and then play a condensed season of three games a week. It’s going to be tough.”

There are multiple options that have been floated.

Many’s group is championing the idea of allowing teams to begin conditioning work as soon as possible, but limited to small, socially-distanced groups until the official start date.

Wright’s proposal is different: Allow some of the lowest-risk, individual sports — like cross country, swimming, golf and tennis — to get their seasons started Sept. 21. Then, both the winter and the spring would be split into two sessions. In the winter, lower-risk sports like volleyball and gymnastics would start later in the fall semester, with basketball and wrestling then starting in January, followed by the remaining fall sports in March and spring sports in April under NYSPHSAA’s condensed season plan.

However the schedule is eventually decided, Pasquarelli said that from a health and safety perspective, it’s all about having an informed plan and sticking to it.

“It’s making sure that everybody’s following the current guidelines put forth by the CDC, put forth by the state, the school, and making sure that not only do the kids and parents understand, but that our coaches understand as well the importance of following the guidelines we have,” Pasquarelli said.

But, at this point, all that coaches like Krempa can do is wait.

“I just feel like I would be super vigilant if the state were to go ahead and say you can meet your kids one or two times a week,” she said. “I think, as coaches, we want to be able to get these kids back on the field, and not for selfish reasons.

“These kids need it now, for their mental health.”

Reach Adam Shinder at (email protected) or @Adam_Shinder on Twitter.

Fashion

Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Published

on

Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Fashion’s OG Instagrammers are building empires and, at the same time, growing their influence beyond the industry.

After being schooled for years on the workings of the fashion industry, mega-influencers including Danielle Bernstein (2.7 million Instagram followers) and Rocky Barnes (2.5 million Instagram followers) are graduating to careers less reliant on brands. To take it to the next level, they’re leveraging their prowess and communities, driving deals with effective business partners, and evolving their focus, based on the industry’s direction and their own passions. The emerging results, for both Bernstein and Barnes, are personally-backed brands and investment portfolios set to expand based on early successes.

“The plan is to grow, in a big way,” said Bernstein. “I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I’ll always want to introduce new businesses and categories to my brand. And I’m angel investing and joining the board of advisors for so many companies. That’s the future of the creator economy: harnessing and creating community around your existing followers and then figuring out how to monetize that.”

In 2019, upon inking a licensing deal with New York-based clothing company Onia, Bernstein launched the Shop We Wore What e-commerce site, populated with her expanding We Wore What fashion collection. The collection has been at the center of much recent controversy, due to allegedly including copycat designs. According to Bernstein, she turns to vintage pieces, editorials and travel for inspiration. Bernstein’s also become an investor and advisor for hair supplement company Wellbel and CBD brand Highline Wellness. In May, she became active on Patreon, offering exclusive video content to paying members of her community.

In addition, Bernstein heads up We Gave What, a charitable arm of her company. In 2019, she launched tech company Moe Assist with a project management tool for influencers, though its social accounts have been inactive for two-plus months. When asked for comment, a spokesperson said Moe Assist is in a new fundraising stage and “should have news to share shortly.”

Barnes, meanwhile, partnered with Reunited Clothing to come out with her apparel company, The Bright Side, in December. And she recently became a first-time investor-advisor, for 6-month-old SMS shopping platform Qatch. She announced the partnership in an Instagram post on Monday.

“I feel like a grown-up,” she told me, before confirming that she’s interested in investing in more companies. “Diversifying my business has been a really big [focus] for me. I interact with so many different brands and companies on a daily basis. Using my market knowledge in ways that can help other people is fulfilling and exciting for me. And I especially love when I can be involved with a company from the beginning.”

Building on their content creator role in fashion is a natural progression, both said. And it plays into many industry shifts: On its way out is fashion’s DTC era, largely fueled by Harvard Business School and Wharton graduates using a plug-and-play, marketing-heavy business model to launch brands. More consumers are prioritizing quality, differentiated products, making industry experience and style expertise greater virtues among insiders. At the same time, consumers are increasingly taking shopping cues from relatable, platform-native celebrities, moving on from authoritative editors and more closed-off celebrities.

The school of collaborations
The collaborator-to-founder shift isn’t the newest thing. Other longtime influencers that have made the pivot include Arielle Charnas, with Something Navy; Aimee Song, with Song of Style; Rumi Neely, with Are You Am I; the list goes on. Most often, the names behind these brands don’t have formal design and business training — for her part, Bernstein said she “went to FIT for two years, but didn’t study design and production.” But, for years, they’ve worked hand-in-hand with companies to bring their visions to life. And along the way, they’ve come to know what resonates best with their vast communities, from marketing to merchandising to product.

“My most successful collaborations have led to the largest share of my business,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein’s partnership with Onia came out of her swimwear collaboration with its Onia brand, in May 2019. On the collab’s launch day, it drove $2 million in sales, and an included style was the brand’s best-selling swimsuit of the summer. Also in 2019, Bernstein collaborated with Joe’s Jeans on multiple denim collections. The launch day of the first, in March 2019, marked Joe Jeans’ best sales day to date, said Jennifer Hawkins, the brand’s svp of marketing and innovation on a Glossy Podcast in October.

Both served as learning opportunities for Bernstein, who said — as with all of her collaborations — she took full advantage: “It was never just [uploading] a post, and then I went away,” she said. “I always wanted to know how the performance was, in terms of sales, and asked questions: ‘Can you share the analytics?’ ‘What did you see on your end?’ ‘What worked and what didn’t work?’”

She added, “They provided a ton of data, in terms of what I could sell and what the market was missing.”

Likewise, she said, she always followed and shared with partner brands the Instagram Insights and Google Analytics numbers around her corresponding posts. Doing so gave all parties a 360-degree view of a collaboration’s success.

“I’ve learned what works for brands so they get the largest return on their investment,” she said.

For example, she’s learned to lean on her audience’s tastes, versus rely on her own, by allowing them to offer feedback throughout the design process through Instagram. That’s included the selection of fabrics and colors and the fit sessions with models. She only spotlights her favorite styles and what she wears in her own social posts, as a play for authenticity.

According to Bernstein, the collaborations with brands allowing her to play an advisor role — by guiding them on influencer partnerships, marketing and messaging — are always more successful. And they often turn into longer-term investment or advising partnerships.

Bernstein chose to work with Onia on the We Wore What collection based on its prioritization of quality and fit, and ability to keep to affordable retail prices. Currently, prices on the We Wore What site range from $20, for a scrunchie, to $228, for a vegan leather jumpsuit.

Barnes was also ready to go out on her own after finding the right partners. Her Reunited Clothing partnership came after working with the company to create her Express product collaboration, in early 2019. On its first-quarter 2019 earnings call, interim CEO Matthew C. Moullering said the company had seen “a strong start to [the] collection both in-stores and online and [believed] it [was] helping to introduce the brand to a new audience.”

“Having your own brand is terrifying,” Barnes said. “But I like that I’m in control and not so dependent on doing the day-to-day posts promoting other companies.”

But, she added, “One of the huge benefits of working with all these different brands on all these different projects is that we’re constantly getting introduced to new people and seeing who we like working with.”

Barnes’ internal team consists of her husband, who’s the “business brains” of the company, she said, and an assistant.

Like Bernstein, Barnes stressed the need for outside support in the production process: “I love such quirky, crazy things, but I also understand what is realistic for a buyer and a normal girl buying clothes,” she said. “The experience of taking ideas and making them work for a bigger group of people was my learning curve going into a business. It’s important to have a good, diverse team around you who can make your idea something that’s marketable.”

For its part, We Wore What has seen “200x growth in the last year,” as it’s expanded to new categories, Bernstein said. Its ready-to-wear, swimwear, resort wear, and activewear are now sold in “dozens and dozens of retailers around the world,” many of which offer style exclusives; they include Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and Intermix.

“Launching my own brand was putting the proof in the pudding for the power of influencers, when it comes to selling product,” she said.

As with her Joe’s and Onia collaborations, Bernstein sees a rush-to-buy with We Wore What product drops. “The first 10 minutes is when we see the biggest portion of our sales for the entire collection,” she said.

To build buzz, Shop We Wore What’s Instagram account (213,000 followers) features in its Stories the line sheets of the soon-to-launch styles, allowing customers to thoughtfully plan their buy. Doing so has led to lower return rates, Bernstein said. The company’s marketing mix also includes text messages and emails, VIP discounts and user-generated content.

Bernstein has a staff of four people, which include a chief operating officer and a brand coordinator. She said she prioritizes establishing partners with skills and expertise she doesn’t have, so she can learn from them along the way. Ideally, she’d have learned about tech packs, fittings and production logistics in school, but she’s training as she goes.

Moving forward, Bernstein said she plans to extend the size range of We What What styles, which are currently available in sizes XS-XXL, and launch collections with collaborators to sell exclusively on her brand’s DTC site. In addition, she aims to eventually open “experimental” physical retail, starting with pop-ups.

As for her investment-advisor portfolio, she’s currently in talks with companies centered on the concepts of “being able to sell your closet and even rent your closet.”

As for Barnes’ Bright Side, she said it will hit “a bunch of new retailers this year.”

Moving beyond fashion
Up next for Shop We Wore What is a new product category that will hit before the holiday season. Considering her passion for home furnishings and decor — based on her @homeworewhat Instagram account (7,500 followers) and recent press coverage of her new SoHo loft — it’s a safe bet that a home-related category is in the cards.

Likewise, Barnes hinted at a future Bright Side home collection, following her recent, two-year home remodel, which she’s getting set to debut on social media.

Lifestyle brands are the clear goal.

“I would love to be a combination of Rachel Zoe and Martha Stewart, just having my hands in everything and creating this really beautiful lifestyle where you can entertain and be fashionable,” Barnes said. “That’s kind of the dream.”

She added, “Fashion is where my heart has always been, but I’m growing as a person and there’s so much more in my life right now: my family, my home — and I’m getting older, so beauty [and skin care] makes sense now. Sharing all of that with everyone seems so natural; it would be weird if I only did fashion.”

As for future investments, though Quatch fits perfectly into Barnes’ world, with its fashion-tech focus, she said she’s open to investing in any company where she sees opportunity.

What’s more, she has no plans to retire from social media, though she has yet to tackle TikTok.

“People’s need for content has only increased, so I’m posting and creating content more than ever,” Barnes said. “But I’ve learned to become more of a hard-ass with brands. The companies that are willing to work with me and [facilitate] the most like authentic relationship possible are the ones I move forward with.” Reunited can attest.

Reading List

Inside our coverage

Mack Weldon’s first CMO, Talia Handler, breaks down her integrated marketing strategy.

Text messages are Rebecca Minkoff’s most successful marketing channel.

Not everyone is embracing “workleisure.”

What we’re reading

Is Richemont dropping Yoox Net-a-Porter?

NFT sales are catching on in fashion.

It’s official: Zendaya’s style is iconic.

Continue Reading

Latest

South African bowler Tabraiz Shamsi: Amateur magician; professional tweaker-trickster

Published

on

wwe crown jewel results

Harry Potter fans would know this as the Room of Requirement; muggle cricketers dub it backend operations. Tabraiz Shamsi is an amateur magician. He is also a professional worrier of why some googlies don’t turn as much as he’d want, in cricket.

For the Proteas chinaman bowler, the room of requirement from where he could pull out any game data, used to be the dependable ‘P Dawgg’, former South Africa analyst Prasanna Agoram combining his ken and nous and fast processing laptop. Prasanna enviably would be privy to the trial (and error) runs of Magician Shamsi’s classical Tourniquet coin-drops with the cricket ball. Which was the unglamorous, quirk-in-progress of his left-arm leg spin.

At the stroke of 1 a.m, oftener than not, Shamsi would come looking for what he called ‘shit balls’, in what Prasanna reckoned were otherwise impressive, less-than-run-a-ball bowling spells. This was that one specific delivery that went for a six to sully Shamsi’s 4-0-22-3 T20 match figures. It was the bugs, not the features, that the 29-year-old would cussedly fixate on.

“I’d never point out that he’s missing his length or the back foot was collapsing, at 12.30 in the night. Because Shamo, you see, would then take me to the nets at 1 a.m! He’s capable of calling the manager and telling him at that hour that I have to practice NOW. You had to be careful about what you told him at 1 a.m,” Prasanna laughs, underlining ungrudging admiration for the Proteas spinner’s dedication.

A series of self-recriminations in staccato would follow the ‘Bhai, can you please put on the shit-ball that went for a six.’ “He’d curse himself watching replays: ‘no good, not international class, garbage ball.’ If you try telling him it is ‘well-played’ from Jos Butler and not exactly a poor ball, he’d be hard on himself and say, ‘This is nonsense from Shamo’,” Prasanna recalls of his exacting standards.

For, the South African World No 1 spinner – who lends mystery to the Saffer bowling attack if not entirely upstaging their thunderbolt battery of pacers – knows that all sleights of hand, can come with uncontrollable twists of fate. Both in magic, and cricket.

A young boy of 15 at Paarl who tried to bowl quick like Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas, had wound up as a left arm leg spin all-sorts, after years of compulsive fine-tuning. And taken failures and omissions into his run-up’s five-strides.

***
Born in Johannesburg, Shamsi wanted to be a super quick in the land of bolting pacers. His progress though didn’t follow the regular route of being identified early for First teams at schools and playing age-groups. Also, he was told he wasn’t quick enough.

Speaking to the podcast ‘Pavilion conversations with C.S’ recently, Shamsi recalls his earliest break at age 15, bowling alone in the school nets, with the cricket coach’s office nearby. The coach would stop by and ask him what he was upto. “I said, ‘Sir, the U15 trials are coming up. I want to make the Paarl team wanna progress’. He told me – you are not gonna make it. But even there I thought he realised the type of character I am. That was just his way to push me even harder. He said ‘Don’t waste your time practicing coz you won’t get selected. And i was even more driven,” he told the host Mr. Chiwanza.

Shamsi would end up with most wickets that tournament, make the B team (“Still not A”), followed by U17 and U19s for the local side. “I didn’t get selected for SA U19s or invited to camps. My past was little different. In fact I got my opportunity at semi-pro cricket because one player got selected for U19s and went to the World Cup. A spot opened up because of him. I just knew that was my chance I had to make it work. And fortunately I performed. When he came back from the World Cup, he couldn’t get into the team,” Shamsi recalled.

It was around 2015-6 after he had zeroed in on Chinaman as his chosen bag of assorted tricks in franchise, provincial cricket, that he first sought out Prasanna, while closely following senior leggie and his ‘bruv’ Imran Tahir. Prasanna promised to compile a list of outstanding T20 spinners of that year for comparison, when Shamsi asked him: ‘Why just T20? I want to play all formats.’

Prasanna promised to revert after two days on Friday, and on Monday, he had a message from the hotel lobby at 10.30 am that Shamsi was waiting. “Normally, cricketers will turn up at 11.30, if the analyst time is 10.30. This guy made me abandon my breakfast and was ready with a list of questions. I’d prepared a presentation earlier on bowlers like Warne, Ajmal and Herath and how they bowled on unhelpful tracks, what lengths to bowl at what stage, and offered to email it to him. He tells me: “No. I’ll write it down in my own words. I don’t want shortcuts.”

Shamsi would sit and plan for every batsman – his notes diary in tow, even on matchdays when he wasn’t in Playing XI. And once he would spill the beans on why brainwaves struck him at 1 a.m – his preferred time to brainstorm with the analyst. “He once told me he eats my brain at that hour, so that he gets dreams of how to get a Kohli or Sharma out, so he can wake up next day he can execute the training plans.”

Once he came angsty about his googlies not spinning as much as Kuldeep Yadav or Brad Hogg. “When he said it’s not spinning, I told him Shamo’ you didn’t bowl any googly. That’s it. He hit the nets and bowled 1000 googlies non-stop and then said, he’s now hitting the groove.”

But nothing had prepared Prasanna for Shamsi’s mic-drop in the pink ball Test against Australia where the Chinaman was fancied as it’s tougher to spot the wrist in the Adelaidian twilight. Shamsi was instructed to block for 20 balls and support Faf as Proteas were hanging on at 210-9. Shamsi would announce he would score a 50 – against Pat Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Finally he was unbeaten on 18. “He came back and blustered ‘If someone had suported me, I’d have hit that 50’.”

***

This constant state of ‘upbeat’ – talking up his own abilities to score a 50 coming at No 11 against Cummins & Starc – might well be the sort of swag and sizzle that the staid South African teams need at ICC tournaments. For a large part of the last 30 years, the Proteas have entered tournaments with burdensome tags of ‘talented’ and ‘favourites’ and come up short. The tasteless mocking glee of choke-jokes has run its course, and being light-weights might well prove liberating.

For all their botched run chases in 50 overs, South Africa can stake claim to the historic highest run-rally to 438. And the innings-interval remark of Jacques Kallis, the most expensive bowler in Australia’s 434, who had quipped “Guys, I think we’ve done a good job. They’re 15 runs short.”

Shamsi likes his boisterous one-liners too. And his showboating and noisy over-the-top pantomime aggression.

After starring in a T20 win against Ireland earlier, he would tell South African journalist Telford Vice, “In my young age, I started as a seamer but was told I’m not quick enough to be a fast bowler so became a spinner. Grew up watching Andre Nel, Dayle Steyn, Allan Donald, that’s where aggression comes from.”

He knows it’s a double-edged sword and a bowler can be packed off, but it can disrupt batters too. “Whatever it takes to win. I’m in charge of making our presence felt on the ground and ensure the team never backs down from opponents,” he added.

Shamsi recently responded to Darren Sammy’s tweet on who would win the T20 World: “Come on skipper, you know the answer to this already…. South Africa of course.” Scroll down the thread, and some mocker mangles his grammar: “are you comedy me”. A good laugh was had by all. Pressure punctured.

“He’ll say things like ‘I’ll single-handedly win this,” Prasanna says, “Whether it happens or not, it gives confidence to people close to you – your team.”

***

Shamsi’s made it to the top of rankings, taking 49 wickets from 42 T20Is, at a strike-rate of 14.8 and averaging 6.6. There’s been a bucketful of wickets in franchise cricket and The Hundred. He’s 31 and has bidden his time to make it to the national team, and another 4 years into the Playing XI. The Wicket then, is an ocassion to celebrate, he reckons.

“I’m a human being and not a robot and want to make long-lasting happy memories that will live with me forever long after my career is done and that is the reason behind my celebrations,” he wrote in a social media post once. “My celebrations mean no disrespect to the opponents. They help me enjoy myself, switch on and off during the game to release some pressure, and put some smiles on people’s faces too.”

There’s the “Shoe” that got going in the West Indies, where within seconds of a wicket, he’d shrug his ankle open from the left shoe and pretend to speak on a landline receiver. Then there’s the bus driver-celebration with Carlos Braithwaite and something about a birdie’s chirp. A flying kiss to the wife and a mock punch to a fielder like a streets hip hopper. Though the untold back-stories raise anticipation of what he’ll whip up next.

Prasanna says there can be new hairdos before every game, sometimes “thrice a week”, and that magic tricks and celebrations are practiced as diligently as the googlies and top-spinners. “Not only will he say, ‘Tomorrow I’ll get Ben Stokes out.’ He’ll also ask you to watch the celebration.”

Amongst his most famous on-field triumph-trumpetings after snaring a batter is pulling a wand out of a hankey – a magician’s staple. But never in cricket, where magic’s glossary is slathered on the slow bowlers and their guiles.

T20 commentators love his name, lending it a South American football match caller’s vroom: “Shaaa-mzzziii”. But it’s the celebrations that can befuddle the most trained of raconteurs. When Shamsi got Wihan Lubbe in the Mzansi Super League, the commentator would build up to the expected celebration. “Is the shoe coming off? No. Look at that…it’s magic,” he would chortle. Cricket was momentarily put to the side, before he resumed confused: “That was a legspinner…… Beg your pardon… Offspinner… That did the trick..” Shamsi’s delivery had jagged away from the leftie and the post-celebration left the commentator’s mind in knots.

Appearing on the Dan Nicholl Show in SA, Shamsi had pulled one of those ‘I can guess the card pulled out of the deck after being shuffled’ tricks. It was ace of spades.

Magic had been his fallback option till age 16, he’d say. “So if cricket doesn’t work out… I ll practice magic for 10 years… But naa… It’s gonna work out.. I’ll bamboozle you all,” he would say, charming the audience.

At the start of the magic gig, Shamsi had handed a sealed envelope to the host. “Sealed with Proteas saliva” Nicholl had joked with whispered reverence. The distracting envelope had briefly become the centrepiece, and Shamsi would explain later:
“You satisfied you made me stop shuffling when u wanted me to? Funny thing is…You thought you were in charge of the trick… Telling me when to stop. Even though it’s your show, I’m running this party… I was controlling you and I actually made you stop at a specific point. …And to prove that I had written down something in this envelope before starting the trick..” It read Ace of Spades.

Shamsi’s assortment of Chinaman, is a bit like that: planned spontaneity. Allan Donald in a video while introducing him to RCB few seasons ago, said: “Left arm, tweaks it this way, tweaks it that way, then tweaks it the other way.” Offering attacking options in the middle overs, with his ability to turn ball both ways, and variations of top spinner, the side spinner and googly, makes him effective against both lefties and righties. The constant explosion of activity – before, right after when appealing (he once did a spot of bhangra jumps, then sat down altogether while pleading a decision) and when celebrating, is in fact the sealed envelope distraction.

Yet, bad days are not unfamiliar to Shamsi, and his role can be flexible like the magician’s wand, like in the West Indies, to keep things quiet, contain against the big power hitters. “There’s two ways to skin a cat… Not really fussed about not getting wickets in WI. That was a different role,” he told the media later.

Sometimes the magic is in not believing the flimflam and sleight. Like rankings. “I don’t lose sleep over being No 1. Obviously it’s a nice feeling to be on top. But I’ve said it before and I truly mean it. I don’t even think I’m the best bowler in our team. We have some great bowlers in the unit. Rankings don’t mean anything if a batsman gets hold of you. I don’t even know how those rankings work honestly.”

Continue Reading

Latest

Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets

Published

on

Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets



















Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets | SuperSport – Africa’s source of sports video, fixtures, results and news






{“slug”:”cricket”,”name”:”Cricket”,”menu”:[{“name”:”Current & Future Tours”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/current-and-future-tours”},{“name”:”Completed Tours”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/completed-tours”},{“name”:”Rankings”,”uri”:”http://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/team-rankings/test”},{“name”:”Future Tours Programme”,”uri”:”//images.supersport.com/content/ICC-Future-Tours-Programme-Latest-2020.pdf”},{“name”:”Major Tournaments”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/major-cricket-tournaments”},{“name”:”ICC Umpires”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/elite-panel-icc-umpires-referees”},{“name”:”This Week”,”uri”:”/cricket/fixtures”},{“name”:”Q&A”,”uri”:”/cricket/chat”}],”topics”:[{“group_name”:”Series & Tours”,”topics”:[{“name”:”Aus v Eng 2021/22″,”slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”NZ v WI 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-west-indies-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-west-indies-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Ban 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-bangladesh-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-bangladesh-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Aus 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-australia-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-australia-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”SA v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tour”]},{“name”:”SA v SL 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v SA 2020/21″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-south-africa-202021″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-south-africa-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Afg v Ire 2020/21″,”slug”:”afghanistan-v-ireland-202021″,”parent_slug”:”afghanistan-v-ireland-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v WI 202021″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-west-indies-202021″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-west-indies-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”SAW v PakW 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-women-v-pakistan-women-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-women-v-pakistan-women-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ind v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”india-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”india-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SA v Aus 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-australia-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-australia-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SA v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”IPL 2021″,”slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”parent_slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“video”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Afg v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”afghanistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”afghanistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v SL 2020/21″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”IndW v SAW 2021″,”slug”:”india-women-v-south-africa-women-2021″,”parent_slug”:”india-women-v-south-africa-women-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Zim v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”zimbabwe-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”zimbabwe-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“video”,”logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Ban 2020/21″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-bangladesh-202021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-bangladesh-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v NZ 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-new-zealand-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-new-zealand-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v SL 2021″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v SL 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v Pak 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-pakistan-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-pakistan-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”Ire v SA 2021″,”slug”:”ireland-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”ireland-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”Eng v Ind 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-india-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-india-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v SA 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v Pak 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-pakistan-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-pakistan-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v Aus 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-australia-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-australia-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Zim v Ban 2021″,”slug”:”zimbabwe-v-bangladesh-2021″,”parent_slug”:”zimbabwe-v-bangladesh-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Ind 2021″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-india-2021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-india-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]}, {“name”: “Ban v from 2021”, “slug”: “bangladesh-v-australia-2021”, “parent_slug”: “bangladesh-v-australia-2021”, “uri”: null, “hidden_tabs “:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]}, {“name”: “Ire v Zim 2021”, “slug”: “ireland-v-zimbabwe-2021”, “parent_slug”: “ireland-v-zimbabwe-2021”, “uri”: null, “hidden_tabs “:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”SL v SA 2021″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”WIW v SAW 2021/22″,”slug”:”west-indies-women-v-south-africa-women-202122″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-women-v-south-africa-women-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v NZ 2021/22″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-new-zealand-202122″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-new-zealand-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v NZ 2021/22″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-new-zealand-202122″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-new-zealand-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”,”fixtures”,”results”]},{“name”:”Aus v Ind 2020/21″,”slug”:”australia-v-india-202021″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-india-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Aus v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”australia-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”,”results”,”fixtures”,”today”]}]},{“group_name”:”Countries”,”topics”:[{“name”:”ICC Cricket World Cup Super League 2020-2023″,”slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“today”,”results”,”fixtures”,”video”,”stats”,”tours”,”news”]},{“name”:”ICC T20 World Cup 2021″,”slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2021-2023″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“today”,”results”,”fixtures”,”stats”,”tours”,”video”]},{“name”:”SA Women”,”slug”:”south-africa-women”,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-women”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”ICC U19 CWC 2020″,”slug”:”icc-under-19-world-cup-2020″,”parent_slug”:”icc-under-19-world-cup-2020″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”Women’s T20 CWC 2020″,”slug”:”icc-womens-t20-world-cup-2020″,”parent_slug”:”icc-womens-t20-world-cup-2020″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2019-2021″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]}]},{“group_name”:”Other”,”topics”:[{“name”:”Women”,”slug”:”women”,”parent_slug”:”women”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tables”]},{“name”:”More”,”slug”:”more”,”parent_slug”:”more”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“fixtures”,”results”,”tables”,”stats”]}]},{“group_name”:”SA Domestic”,”topics”:[{“name”:”CSA T20 KO 2021/22″,”slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”CSA T20 2020/21″,”slug”:”csa-t20-challenge-202021″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-challenge-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”MODC 2020/21″,”slug”:”momentum-one-day-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”momentum-one-day-cup-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”CSA 4-Day 2020/21″,”slug”:”csa-4-day-franchise-series-202021″,”parent_slug”:”csa-4-day-franchise-series-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]}]}],”featured”:{“topics”:[{“name”:”IPL 2021″,”slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”parent_slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC T20 World Cup 2021″,”slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”CSA T20 KO 2021/22″,”slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”Aus v Eng 2021/22″,”slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC Cricket World Cup Super League 2020-2023″,”slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2021-2023″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”uri”:null}]}}

Continue Reading

Trending