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‘We didn’t take anything for granted’ – Jamaica’s Frew credits teamwork for historic Windies’ U-19 victory

‘We didn’t take anything for granted’ – Jamaica’s Frew credits teamwork for historic Windies’ U-19 victory

first_imgOutgoing Jamaica Under-19 captain, Michael Frew, a member of the victorious West Indies Under-19 team, has listed teamwork as the main reason their historic ICC Under-19 World Cup triumph. The West Indies, led by Man-of-the-Match Leeward Islands batsman, Keacy Carty, who scored an unbeaten 52, defeated title-favourites and previously unbeaten India by five wickets in the final yesterday in Bangladesh. “It was definitely, team performance,” off-spinning all-rounder Frew told The Gleaner.  “It wasn’t one person who really carried the team. Everyone chipped in at the right time. “Our opening bowlers, again, gave us a good start with the new ball and the bowlers in the middle came and finished the job. “In the batting we knew we had a lot of balls and the guys batted patiently,” he added. The triumph, which was wrapped up with three balls to spare, after the West Indies scored 146 for five in response to 145 made by the Indians, represented the first time the regional outfit was lifting the title. The previous best performance was a second place finish in 2004, when the West Indies, led then by current wicketkeeper, Denesh Ramdin, lost to Pakistan in the final, also in Bangladesh. Fast bowlers – the impressive Alzzarri Joseph of the Leewards and, Ryan John of the Windward Islands – spearheaded the West Indies bowling performance with three for 39 and John, three for 38, respectively. “Leading up to the final we were winning matches so our confidence was at a pretty good level,” expressed Frew. “However, we knew that India was a good team and didn’t take anything for granted.” Guided by captain Shimron Hetmyer of Guyana, the West Indies, after going down to England in their opening match, rebounded to defeat Fiji and Zimbabwe in their subsequent group fixtures. They then defeated long-standing nemesis, Pakistan, who also knocked them out of the tournament in 2014, in the quarter-finals, before getting the better of Bangladesh in the semi-finals. One of three Jamaicans in the West Indies squad along with fast bowler Odean Smith and batsman Shahid Crooks, Frew, also said he hoped the win would make the people of the Caribbean happy. “I hope it has made them proud,” he said. “We wanted to do this for the people of the Caribbean, including our family and our friends.”last_img read more

Slackpacking in the Cederberg

Slackpacking in the Cederberg

first_imgThe magnificent mountainous region of the Cederberg. (Image: South African Tourism) The Cederberg scenery can change dramatically, dropping down sharply into green, vegetated kloofs. (Image: South African Tourism) Rock art found in the Cederberg. (Image: South African Tourism) While it may have lessened the load the hikers had to carry, the donkey cart didn’t ensure a complete lack of discomfort. (Image: Shaen Adey)Fiona McintoshI’m an avid hiker, but as I’ve got older – no, let’s not been so harsh – wiser and more mature, I’ve found the logistics of multi-day hiking in South Africa somewhat taxing.Much as I love escaping to the wilderness for a few days, the thought of cramming my tent, sleeping bag, clothes and dehydrated rather than “proper” food into my rucksack (for a foodie like me the worst sacrifice) and then lugging it on my back for the duration of the trail, is almost guaranteed to put me off.So it was with some delight that I discovered a clutch of new multi-day hiking trails where your bags are transported between overnight spots while you walk with just your camera, lunch and a waterproof in your daypack.Slackpacking“Slackpacking”, as this refined form of hiking is coined, has long been popular in the US, New Zealand and Europe but has only caught on in South Africa in the last decade. But its growth has been fast and there are now at least 30 slackpacking trails in the country. Most are along spectacular sections of the coastline, but a few criss-cross mountain wilderness areas that were previously the preserve of only the fit and self-sufficient, khaki-shorted, hardy hiker.The latest addition to the fold is the Cederberg Heritage Route (CHR). In common with many other slackpacking trails, the CHR is much more than just a hiking trail. The guided three- to five-day route options include cultural visits and rock art tours.It offers unique Cederberg experiences that give the visitor an exceptional insight into the spectacular natural and cultural landscape of this remote corner of the Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site.Back into the pastOn day one, however, I was questioning my choice of trail. Our group, mainly in their 50s, had spent a delightful morning exploring the rock art sites of the Jan Dissels River Valley. David Swart, a local guide trained up as part of Clanwilliam’s Living Landscape Project, was passionate about his job and could barely control his enthusiasm for the paintings.He bounded from site to site, squatting down to show us ochre-coloured eland, tiny outlines of fat-tailed sheep, and the distinctive depictions of shamans and explaining the trance scenes and the pressure points.He took us back a couple of millennia to when San and, later, Khoi people lived in this beautiful valley; made us stand out at the edge of the shelters so as to understand importance of aspect in the choice of sacred sites and cave dwellings and captivated us with the rich heritage of the Cederberg.It was a pleasant, leisurely walk, and by the time we’d retraced our steps and driven the short distance to the lunch-stop at the grave of Louis Leipoldt (a famous local poet, doctor botanist and cook), we had shaken off the stresses of the city and were enjoying the pace of life in the mountains.Then came the donkey cart ride. It sounded innocuous enough, a sedate transfer from the top of the Pakhuis Pass some 12km down the 4×4 track to Heuningvlei, one of the old mission villages nestled under the towering Krakadouw Peak. Once the donkeys had been rounded up and harnessed, we clambered onto the traditional wooden carts and waved David goodbye.Hanging on for dear lifeThe donkey cart is still the main form of transport in the area and the three pairs in the train clearly knew the ropes. But it was not all smooth going. Potholes had developed in the sandy track following a bout of unusually severe winter rain, so the initial uphill stage was far from smooth, while the descents were quite terrifying as the donkeys, knowing that they were homeward bound, chafed at the bit.Our toothless driver attempted to slow us down occasionally by ramming his foot on the brake – a piece of old car tyre attached to the back wheels – but it was obvious, if unnerving, that he was perfectly comfortable with the pace.We hung on for dear life, knuckles white as we bounced up and down on the cushions covering the hard wooden benches, hoping that the donkeys could canter faster than the cart’s gathering momentum. At the bottom of each hill the pace would slacken allowing our thumping hearts to calm down before the next charge.It was exhilarating stuff and we arrived at Heuningvlei in need of a stiff drink. The thorough pre-trip notes had warned that there was no alcohol to be had in the mission villages, so we’d secreted some whisky (and a couple of wine boxes) in our bags. Under the circumstances, it was a wise precaution – this is, after all, a trail for those who like life’s spoils.Home comfortsOur luggage was unloaded and Anna Ockhuis welcomed us into her home, one of the community guesthouses that accommodate hikers. Although new to the game, and by no means fluent in English, the villagers have embraced this new venture and what they lack in sophistication, they more than make up for in warm hospitality.The Cederberg has a couple of basic stone huts in the wilderness area but until the trail was developed there was nothing more comfortable. Now, as we were experiencing, you can hike all day and arrive at a village to find a cup of tea, hot shower, wholesome meal and a soft bed waiting.In keeping with the aims of the trail – to spread the benefits wide – our chefs, Rene Veloen and her mum Helena Ockhuis (the Ockhuis’ were the original farm owners and every second person we met seemed to carry the surname), were from different households and they appeared soon after our arrival to ask what time we’d like to dine.Supper arrived on the dot – a vast meal of meatballs, chicken, braaivleis, boerewors sweet potatoes, a local specialty sous bonntjies (beans in curry sauce) and fresh salad presented by our beaming chefs. I’d stated that I was vegetarian and was impressed by the varied offerings. There was always a tasty tuna bake, macaroni cheese or vegetable hotpot laid out.Helena giggled when we asked what the rich sponge dessert was. “I call it telephone pudding,” she explained. “It’s so quick to make that I can do it in the space of a phone call.”On the Wuppertal trailFrom Heuningvlei, the routes diverge with hikers on the five-day Wuppertal trail spending the next day either hiking or swimming among the incredible rock formations, rare cedar trees and wild flowers or, if they are strong hikers, scaling Krakadouw Peak for its spectacular views. They then spend a second night at Heuningvlei before continuing on the trail, via the village of Brugkraal, down to the Moravian Midssion village of Wuppertal, the oldest settlement in the region.Our route led up from behind the village to Krakadouw Pass. It was a magnificent hike. Our guide, Joey – you guessed it – Ockhuis, has lived in the valley all his life. He took us to a rock shelter with some poorly-preserved paintings where one of his friends had lived for 35 years while working on the road to Pakhuis Pass. We’d come down that road the previous day and he pointed out a well-preserved stone canal system, which carried water to what had been the garden.We stopped for a quick break at the stone hikers’ hut at base of Krakadouw Peak, wishing that we had the extra day to scramble up to its craggy summit, and then headed on up to the neck. The path steepened, but was surprisingly well maintained with stone steps and rainwater channels.A diverse landscapeThe great walls of Krakadouw rose above us punctuating the deep blue sky, and at the saddle the exposed, weathered sandstone rocks were a burnt orange – a stunning backdrop to the clusters of purple and pink everlastings.Once over the pass, the scenery changed dramatically. We dropped down sharply into a green, vegetated kloof and enjoyed the shade provided by stands of yellowwoods. Joey held out some small plants for us to taste – yum yums – a sweet, refreshing clover. After a couple of hours the gradient eased off and a round fort came into view on the ridge above us.“The British built this blockhouse in 1901 during the Anglo-Boer War,” Joey told us. We had no idea that the troops had penetrated so far into this mountainous terrain.Below us we could see the Boskloof cottages and the end of the trail. We sauntered along the river, enjoying the sunshine and the yellow daisies. Although no walk in the park, the pace and terrain of the hiking section had not caused our averagely-fit group any problems.Our celebratory braai that night, in Klein Boschkloof, a delightful guesthouse on a citrus farm, was under a star-studded sky the like of which I have never seen. The Cederberg is only two hours from Cape Town yet there was not a single artificial light to be seen. It’s a rare privilege to venture so deep into the mountains and to experience life in the communities. It had been a very, very special trail.For reservations contact Cederberg African Travel, tel +27 (0) 27 482 2444, email info@cedarberg.co.za or visit www.cedheroute.co.za.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Fiona McIntosh is the author of Slackpacking: A Guide to South Africa’s Top Leisure Trails, published by Sunbird. Related articlesUnforgettable South African hiking trails The adventure starts here South Africa’s tourist highlights World heritage in South Africa Useful linksCederberg Heritage Traillast_img read more

Land dispute returns to haunt BJP in Saurashtra

Land dispute returns to haunt BJP in Saurashtra

first_imgWhile the Congress is trying to capitalise on the supposed disenchantment of the Patidars with the BJP in Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections, protests by another influential community, the Karadia Rajputs, against BJP State president Jitu Vaghani over an old land dispute have escalated.The past two weeks have seen a series of protests in pockets of Saurashtra dominated by the community, demanding the resignation of Mr. Vaghani, a legislator from Bhavnagar West. Karadia Rajputs leaders have alleged that Mr. Vaghani had grabbed a parcel of pastoral land at Budhel village in Bhavnagar district and foisted false cases against Dansang Mori, sarpanch of the village, who resisted the alleged act. Mr. Mori was suspended as sarpanch in 2014 and later arrested for allegedly stealing a mobile phone and inciting riots. Massive gathering With the State polls round the corner, the community has rallied behind Mr. Mori, and discontent was evident at a massive public meeting organised near Ahmedabad on November 5. Over 200 community leaders, including local political leaders, at the gathering decided to fight the “injustice” done to Mr. Mori.“Vaghani is a land grabber, who has encroached upon gauchar (pastoral) land in the village. When Dansang opposed him, he [Vaghani] used his political clout to get him suspended as sarpanch and implicated him in cases based on trumped-up charges,” said Kanbha Gohil, a senior community leader, who has been asked to hold talks with the BJP leadership on the issue.“When I refused to pass the resolution of handing over pastoral land to Mr. Vaghani, I and my family members became his target,” Mr. Mori told presspersons in Ahmedabad before the convention.The BJP has so far dismissed all allegations and defended the party president. “All allegations are motivated and baseless,” Gujarat BJP spokesperson I.K. Jadeja said.Influential community“Our main demand is resignation of Vaghani. Another demand is that all cases against Dansang Mori and his family members should immediately be withdrawn. We have remained loyal to BJP so far but this time we may have to rethink our support in case the BJP does not yield,” Mr. Gohil said.He said Karadia Rajputs were influential in 35 Assembly constituencies in Saurashtra and Ahmedabad district.Protests have spread to villages with community banners saying “No Entry for Vaghani”. Saurashtra’s main city Rajkot, a BJP stronghold, has witnessed two protests in as many weeks against Mr. Vaghani. On Tuesday, Mr. Vaghani’s face in a hoarding at Astron Chowk in Rajkot was defaced.last_img read more