Monday, January 25, 2010


I was browsing on Bob Skinstads blog and used this piece.Since Swoosh0018 follow Hash closely I had to put it up

Letter of apology to a true South African hero.

Dear Hashim

I felt I had to write this letter to you and apologise personally for something that has been sitting on my shoulders for some time. Strangely, I thought this guilt would have faded over the years but your actions of late have only confirmed the need for this apology.

I joined South African Breweries in 2003 and was an employee in the marketing department until 2006. I was responsible for handling events of all scales and recognising and leveraging beer-selling opportunities. I real perk to the job was the opportunity to be involved in the major sporting events including the big rugby and cricket Test Matches (free tickets) both of which I follow closely as a devoted and loyal supporter. Being a young, energetic and passionate South African it was my dream job. It was a real privilege being involved in leveraging these prestigious events and being able to rub shoulders with our country’s sporting heroes.

In 2004 I found myself in a moral quagmire when you announced your request not to wear the Castle Lager logo on any of your SA cricket team clothing. I quickly chose the side of the company that had recently adopted me and immediately took a dislike to this “spoiled brat” new kid who refused to wear the logo that had made it possible for him to be where he was. “After all, he was not even there on merit!” That was one of my favourite comments. I suggested to my friends and colleagues that we should we should write to Cricket South Africa and give this Amla guy an ultimatum. He should either accept wearing the logo or pay for his own flights, accommodation and costs that “we” as the sponsor were covering.

I was angry to hear that SAB had graciously granted you permission not to wear any logos on your team clothing and saw this as a point of weakness on the part of the brewing giant. My interest in the games that followed that decision was of a totally different nature as I eagerly watched each performance, waiting for you to fail whilst I passed derogatory comments in your direction. The quicker we could rid our team of this problem the better…….. How wrong I was!

Hashim, since that day you have made it not only incredibly difficult, but nearly impossible for me to back up any of my statements or find truth in any of my comments. Fortunately, through watching you so closely (for the wrong reasons at first) I have enjoyed the privilege of being witness to the blossoming career of a humble, inspirational and talented young man. Your attitude both on and off the field is truly a lesson to every young sportsman and woman and your sportsmanship is unparalleled. Umpires around the world will verify this I am sure when many a tough decision on their part has been made easy by your honesty and decision to walk before the result. Your bravery and selflessness are also apparent in the way you regularly nominate yourself for the dangerous close-catching positions when no one else wants them. Your humility and rational nature has given you the amazing ability to turn negatives into positives – a valuable quality for any team to be able to call on. The way in which you handled a certain Aussie commentator’s crude and prejudiced comments a couple years back now brings a smile to my face and is a real life lesson to all of us.

Thank you for all you have taught me over the last few years, thank you for the way in which you play the great game and for the spirit you play it in.

Thank you for being an inspiration to us and for providing our wonderful country with a true South African hero!

I look forward to meeting you in person one day, being able to shake your hand and hopefully buy you a beer…err, sorry, a Coke.

Matt Botha
Network Director

1 comment:

  1. Are you sure you were browsing the blog? Im pretty sure i sent it to you!!!


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