In a way I’m thankful that the hardest part of my week has been to ensure that I have enough golf balls left in my bag for a second round of golf during my travels to Abu Dhabi.
If Yas Links, recently voted the regions best course, chewed me up and spat me out as I toiled on the back nine on Thursday I can only imagine the misery that awaits when a Gary Player design, Saadiyat Beach and Golf Club is tackled tomorrow.
With the exchange hovering at four and a half dirhams to a rand I’m not exactly thrilled by the prospect of having to fork out for golf balls that could very well end up being smacked straight into the ocean.
But this problem pales in comparison to those faced by whose names are likely to be exposed as the matchfixing scandal that has hit South African cricket unfolds.
It’s only the embarrassment that comes with being found out, it’s there threat of the sanctions that will likely follow – the possibility of criminal convictions adds some pressure – and then there’s the fact that their legacies have been torn to shreds.
Once a player has been tainted with this brush there’s not much they can do to try and change people’s perceptions of their characters. Social media has already had a field day with the opportunity to label people.
Thankfully, trending topics generally pass as the next bit of controversy stirs up but the thing is, I doubt very much that cricket fans will ever forget.
One only has to look at the grief that Pakistan cricket Mohammed Amir received on his return to international cricket this month against New Zealand to see that people will forever consider him cheat.
Dare I say it but anything he does now won’t count for much. People will always remember him as the guy who was bought. A few dollars could lead the man into temptation.
That’s probably what makes it worse with regards to South Africa’s current situation given that the amounts being bandied about as rewards, just whispers at this stage, for attempting to sway certain aspects of matches aren’t that great.
Sure, it sounds like a lot when the exchange rate is taken into effect but is it really worth throwing your name away for an amount of money that could buy you an entry level new car? No chance.
Nobody is perfect, we were guilty of trying to make a five ball before Yas Links’ course supervisor Eugene, who hails from the Philippines admonished us for such an idea, and perhaps we do not know the circumstance surrounding the acceptance of offers to fix.
Maybe financial pressure forced players into a corner, who knows. But whatever the reason it’s unacceptable and needs to be punished. As much as they may have contributed to the game, the sport doesn’t need them if they were so quick to sell-out.