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Friday, February 23, 2024
In a grand proclamation, the illustrious City of Cape Town proudly steps into the limelight, announced as the prestigious Host City for the forthcoming Betway SA20 Final, slated for the resplendent date of 10th February 2024.

In a grand proclamation, the illustrious City of Cape Town proudly steps into the limelight, announced as the prestigious Host City for the forthcoming Betway SA20 Final, slated for the resplendent date of 10th February 2024. This momentous partnership between the City and the tournament promises to unfurl the vibrant tapestry of Cape Town's allure to a global audience, casting its magnetic charm in the corridors of tourism hotspots worldwide.

Adorned with natural beauty and steeped in cultural richness, the iconic Newlands stadium emerges as the sacred ground where the champions of Betway SA20 Season 2 will be anointed on the grand stage of the Final. Not merely content with hosting the Final, Newlands sets the scene for the inaugural Qualifier on 6th February. Meanwhile, the Wanderers stands ready to host two exhilarating back-to-back knockout clashes - the thrilling Eliminator on 7th February and the gripping Qualifier 2 on 8th February.

The City of Cape Town, now anointed as the official 'Host City – Final' partner, embarks on an unprecedented journey to amplify its magnificence across the League's global network and vast audience.

Cape Town, an eminent gem in the treasure trove of global tourist destinations, captivates hearts with its heritage sites, iconic landmarks, diverse arts, cultural extravaganza, and pristine natural resources. A symphony of unparalleled offerings awaits within the city's embrace - an ensemble of experiences that cater to every discerning visitor.

"Merely 50 days away from the onset of this cricketing extravaganza, this marks a pivotal moment as we crown the City of Cape Town as our esteemed Host City for the Final, locking in our venues for the playoffs and Final," proclaimed the Betway SA20 League Commissioner, Graeme Smith. "Summer and cricket weave a timeless narrative, and with the January/February window secured annually, SA20 promises to be the ultimate destination. Cape Town, a global hotspot for summer escapades, has proved its mettle by hosting distinguished events like the Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup Final, the Volvo Ocean Race, the URC Final, the Cape Epic, and more. The city pulsates with a unique energy, boasting iconic locales and a plethora of entertainment options. We eagerly anticipate the city setting the stage for a world-class Final on the 10th of February 2024."

A bastion of cricketing lore, the Wanderers has witnessed iconic clashes etched in the annals of South African cricket. It has been the arena for historic encounters, including the famed 438 game, the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup Final, and the scintillating 2023 Betway SA20 Final.

Nestled beneath the towering majesty of the mountains, Newlands, with its famed Oaks embankment, resounding Railway Stand, the tantalizing aroma wafting from the nearby brewery, and the ethereal sunsets, transforms each match into a timeless spectacle.

"As the City of Cape Town, we embark on an exhilarating partnership with Betway SA20 to showcase our resplendent city during their Season 2 playoffs and Final. We take pride in having been chosen by the Mumbai Indians, the joint-most successful IPL team, as the home for their SA20 franchise. Securing Newlands as the Final's venue augurs well for MI Cape Town in Season 2," affirmed the Deputy Mayor, Eddie Andrews.

"The electrifying buzz in the city during Season 1, from avid cricket enthusiasts to casual sports aficionados, was palpable. Moreover, the economic and environmental impact of the League resonates with our vision of enhancing the lives of our citizens. We eagerly anticipate collaborating with SA20 to showcase spectacular cricketing action and the splendor of our city throughout the tournament, culminating in the playoffs and the grand final at Newlands."

In an exciting addition to Season 2, the playoffs will witness the top teams vying for supremacy - Qualifier 1, the Eliminator, and Qualifier 2, paving the way for an epic championship clash in the Final on the 10th of February.

With just 50 days to go before the commencement of this enthralling cricketing fiesta, the anticipation builds as the world's elite cricketers prepare for a month brimming with entertainment, top-notch cricket, and everlasting memories.

The defending champions, Sunrisers Eastern Cape, shall commence their title defense with a riveting encounter against the Joburg Super Kings in Gqeberha on the 10th of January, unleashing cricket fever across South Africa's premier stadiums throughout the month.

Tickets for the playoffs and the Final will be available for purchase starting from the 8th of January on Stay tuned to Betway SA20 and the City of Cape Town's social media platforms to seize your chance to be part of the electrifying atmosphere at these matches. Tickets for the round-robin matches are presently accessible on
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

Amidst triumphant embraces and victorious cheers, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc secured Australia's spot in the World Cup Final showdown against India.

Amidst triumphant embraces and victorious cheers, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc secured Australia's spot in the World Cup Final showdown against India. Their astute tactical prowess at the tail-end ensured a thrilling clash at Ahmedabad’s Modi mega-bowl, marking a deserving victory over South Africa.

In a tumultuous day-night encounter on a capricious pitch, Cummins and his squad took charge, restricting their opponents to 212 and chasing down the target with 16 balls to spare. However, the riveting match was peppered with stumbling blocks, witnessed by a crowd of 48,000 locals, leaving Temba Bavuma's South African team in heartbreak.

The Proteas faced early setbacks as Australia's initial strikes were followed by a magnificent century from David Miller, injecting hope into an otherwise challenging situation. Yet, despite their valiant effort with the ball, overcoming notable batters like Travis Head and David Warner, South Africa's dream faltered, marking their seventh exit at the semi-final stage in ODI and T20 World Cups.

The age-old debate on 'choking' surfaced, promptly dismissed by South Africa's head coach, Rob Walter, who refuted any notion of succumbing under pressure. The experience and composure of Australia's champions from 2015 were evident, particularly in the calm resolve of Mitchell Starc, who alongside his captain, sealed the deal for the Aussies.

Bavuma's decision to bat first for South Africa proved challenging as Starc and Josh Hazlewood stifled the top order, keeping the Proteas at bay for a substantial period. Despite a resilient stand by Miller and Heinrich Klaasen, South Africa struggled under Australia's persistent pressure, with the latter falling victim to a masterstroke from Australia's part-time spinner, Travis Head.

Miller's heroic century kept the contest alive, yet unfortunate dismissals of key players, including Coetzee and himself, marred South Africa's chances. Despite glimpses of hope, missed catches and failed reviews plagued South Africa's efforts, ultimately paving the way for Australia's determined victory.

The same old questions will be raised about the Proteas decision making including playing an out of form skipper, who by his own admission was not fully fit. Other issues would be the decision to bat first in gloomy conditions and failing to throw a punch in the first ten overs. Perhaps a team that are not confident to bat second are deserving of the World Champions title, however their fight should not be questioned.

In the end Australia were too strong and made the correct decision, at the right time. They took full advantage of the conditions and were worthy victors. Starc and Cummins exhibited nerves of steel in the final stretch, securing Australia's place in the World Cup final, where they aim to claim the coveted title for the sixth time. For South Africa, the quest to reach the pinnacle of success remains an elusive pursuit.

Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

Bryan Adams, the rock maestro whose music transcends generations, recently graced the stage at Pretoria's Sunbet Arena, ending the South African leg of his "So Happy It Hurts" tour.

Bryan Adams, the rock maestro whose music transcends generations, recently graced the stage at Pretoria's Sunbet Arena, ending the South African leg of his "So Happy It Hurts" tour. As a seasoned attendee of Bryan's performances, having relished the magic on four previous occasions, including the unforgettable acoustic "Bare Bones Tour," each concert has been etched in my memory, invoking the euphoria of days gone by.
My anticipation for his Sunbet Arena debut was palpable, driven by the prospect of reliving the intoxicating atmosphere of live rock music and the sheer joy of a crowd singing and clapping in unison, all under the spell of Bryan himself. Excitement fueled my attendance on not one, but three consecutive nights of the tour, a testament to the enduring allure of Adams's music.

The vibe for all three evenings was nothing short of feel-good fun. As the crowd gathered in the arena, a peculiar yet exhilarating trend unfolded – the front row was encouraged to stand, inspiring the rest of the arena to follow suit by occupying the aisles. This contrasted with the typical seated setup for rock concerts, a challenge given the diverse age groups present, spanning from 10-year-olds to an 80-year-old lady seated next to me.

The crowd dynamic played a crucial role in shaping the different concert experiences. While the first two nights were marked by exuberance, some attendees seemed determined to try and outshine the main act, resulting in a cacophony that occasionally drowned out Bryan Adams's voice. This included loud wolf whistles at every possible chance. The last evening, however, saw a more considerate audience, allowing concertgoers of all ages to savor decades of musical brilliance and Bryan Adams’ angelic voice.

Although the experience was vastly different on each occasion, the performance remained the same. As the lights dimmed, signaling Bryan's imminent arrival, the crowd erupted in wild enthusiasm. Dressed in matching black t-shirts, Bryan and his band embraced a contemporary setup with a large video screen, projecting a modern aesthetic while maintaining focus on the music. The setlist, spanning over four decades of hits and 75+ million album sales, seamlessly blended new tracks with classics, creating a party atmosphere that resonated throughout the arena.
Bryan's interaction with the crowd reached its peak as he invited revelers to dance along with his infectious rockabilly track, 'You Belong To Me.' The concert showcased newer material from his recent albums, but the crowd's collective energy peaked with mega-hits like "Summer of '69" and "Everything I Do." A stripped-back rendition of select numbers, including 'Here I Am' and 'When You're Gone,' allowed the arena to transform into a choir, echoing every lyric as if their lives depended on it.

The concert's crescendo was Bryan's nod to crowd requests, with the audience selecting perennial favorites like "Cloud Number Nine" and "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman." This interactive segment added a personal touch, making the crowd an integral part of the show. The finale, featuring two acoustic gems each evening, "Straight from The Heart" and "All For Love," provided a fitting conclusion to a concert that reminded us all why live music is unparalleled.

One of the reasons I decided to write a second review was that I failed to give credit to the whole band on the first evening. I do not think I am the only one and a highlight often overlooked is the musical genius of the band, especially guitarist Keith Scott. Scott's virtuosity added an electrifying dimension to the performances, showcasing his prowess as one of the most underrated guitarists in the industry. The band's unwavering energy across the two-hour-plus set demonstrated their professionalism and commitment to delivering a top-class show night after night.

However, the tour wasn't without controversy, a topic discussed in the first review as well. The management's decision to restrict photos and videos in the front rows stirred unhappiness among attendees. While this decision had its positives, such as unobstructed views, it deprived those with prime tickets of capturing memories. The additional peculiarity of copyright strikes for concert videos uploaded to YouTube added to the mystery surrounding this policy. Whilst we could not confirm the reasons for the decision, it was great to be able to see Bryan Adams without looking through thousands of cellphone screens.

Despite these quirks, each evening concluded with the entire arena on its feet, arms in the air, and everyone dancing, delivering the quintessential elements of a great night out. Big Concerts once again ensured a high-quality experience with impeccable sound, organization, and management. I want to thank them for the invitation to review the first evening and will always do so in an unbiased manner.

As Bryan bids adieu to South African shores, one can't help but ponder when he'll return. The thought that we may have to wait until his 70s is crazy, but one thing is certain – when Bryan Adams does return, he'll undoubtedly “go down rocking”, ensuring that the magic of his music continues to resonate across generations.

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

From the inaugural chords to the final notes, Bryan Adams once again asserted his status as a bona fide rock icon during the recent leg of his So Happy It Hurts Tour in Pretoria.

From the inaugural chords to the final notes, Bryan Adams once again asserted his status as a bona fide rock icon during the recent leg of his So Happy It Hurts Tour in Pretoria. The musical maestro, having kicked off the South African segment of his tour in Cape Town, graced the Sunbet Arena with three sensational shows. Despite Adams, 64, forgetting his prior appearance at the venue, the electrifying performances served as a reminder that some things only get better with time.

The atmosphere in the arena was charged with anticipation, intensified by Adams's strategic use of pre-show video clips and a spectacular display featuring a convertible flying car that circled the venue. At a Bryan Adams concert, one can expect a two-hour extravaganza of pure rock and classic ballads. The journey began with the lively "Kick Ass" from his latest album, setting the tone for an evening brimming with nostalgia and powerhouse performances.
Presenting approximately 30 songs, Adams masterfully intertwined his latest compositions with timeless classics. The audience was treated to an array of hits, including "When You Love Someone," "18 'Til I Die," "Somebody," and the iconic "Summer of '69." Introducing an acoustic touch to tracks like "Here I Am" and "Straight from the Heart," Adams created intimate moments within the expansive arena.

As Adams engaged with the audience, sharing anecdotes about his 95-year-old mother and reflecting on his early struggles as an 18-year-old aspiring songwriter, the connection deepened. A unique interactive element emerged as the crowd influenced the setlist, suggesting and enjoying fan favorites like "Don't Drop that Bomb on Me" and "Cloud Number Nine."

Despite the passing years, Adams's performance remained nothing short of remarkable. The enduring energy, passion, and distinctive voice that have characterized his career for nearly four decades were on full display. With a musical legacy spanning generations, Adams undeniably solidified his place in rock history.
However, amidst the musical enchantment, a surprising twist emerged – management restrictions on photos and videos in the front rows. Some attendees expressed disappointment, feeling hindered in capturing their cherished moments. The decision raised speculation on the management's motives in an era dominated by social media. Kaitlin Morland, a disappointed concertgoer, remarked, "It was very disappointing that management came and pushed down our phones every time we wanted to take a video or a photo. We paid a lot of money for front row tickets, and this was never stipulated to us."

Other concertgoers echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the departure of photographers after a single song and noting the grainy quality of the video on the backscreen. Some speculated that the management's decision may be an attempt to preserve the image of the aging rockstar.

Despite this minor disruption, fans departed the arena buzzing with admiration for Adams's timeless talent and the unforgettable performance. Bryan Adams continues to assert himself as a musical force, a living legend whose influence spans across generations. As the So Happy It Hurts Tour journeys forward, audiences worldwide can anticipate nothing less than an electrifying night of rock and nostalgia from this iconic performer.

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

The Momentum Multiply Tians will be at home, at SuperSport Park, for their second match in CSA 4 Day Series where they will face off with the HollywoodBets Dolphins.

The Momentum Multiply Tians will be at home, at SuperSport Park, for their second match in CSA 4 Day Series where they will face off with the HollywoodBets Dolphins.

Both teams are coming off wins in their opening games in the 4 Day Series which will make for an exciting match-up in Centurion. The Titans travelled to Paarl where they were victorious over the GBets Rocks by 6 wickets in their match last week. A victory in your opening match will always bode well for the team during the rest of the campaign.
“It’s very important to start any campaign with a win to gets the Momentum on your side but it’s especially important in a 4 day series because of the nature of 4 day cricket where there’s a lot of draws.” Explained Titans all-rounder Dayyaan Galiem.

Success against the Rocks will boost the team in their second match against the side from KZN but they will know better than anyone the aspects of their game that they can improve on going forward.
While the bowling unit did a fine job in the second innings there were phases when they ventured in search of wickets when sticking to the basics would’ve been a easier option. “There were periods especially after lunch that the wicket died down and got a bit tough to bowl we were a bit adventurous when we should’ve stuck to our plans.” Galiem explained.

Dean Elgar and the work he put in at the crease in the second innings earned the Titans victory in the end but the first innings batting will be an area the Titans want to improve after being 30 odd for no loss and then getting bowled out for 209. “It’s always been good competition when we face the Dolphins and there’s always hard battles especially at SuperSport Park so we’re expecting an awesome encounter with them.” The all-rounder said.
Momentum Multiply Titans Squad to face HollywoodBets Dolphins: Neil Brand (C), Sibonelo Makhanya, Junior Dala, Dean Elgar, Schalk Engelbrecht, Merrick Brett, Rivaldo Moonsamy (W), Dewald Brevis, Donovan Ferreira, Aya Gqamane, Matthew Kleinveldt, Tladi Bokako, Sam Ruwisi, Aaron Phangiso, Musa Twala

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

Salvatore Di Vittorio is at the forefront of a groundbreaking movement merging classical music and film music to help preserve and be a part of orchestral music's renaissance from concert halls to screens.

Today's Date: Oct 26, 2023 | Time: 18:18 | Location: New York, NY

Salvatore Di Vittorio has set the stage for a groundbreaking initiative merging classical and film music as both composer and conductor to help preserve and be a part of the renaissance of orchestral music from the concert hall to the silver screen during an age that is proving to show a significant demise of melody (and all things lyrical) across both genres and the orchestra world itself, thus away from the great long-standing tradition of orchestral masters from Ottorino Respighi to John Williams.

ABOUT Salvatore Di Vittorio
Salvatore Di Vittorio is an internationally respected, published composer and conductor, recognized for his uniquely lyrical, melodic orchestral music "following in the footsteps of Ottorino Respighi" (Giornale di Sicilia) – the revered 20th-century composer who inspired such legendary composers in both classical and film music – from disciple turned film composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco to his student John Williams. With his profound natural gift of melody throughout all his memorable music, Di Vittorio's forte of orchestration and arrangement is evidenced not only through his original works but numerous elaborations across the spectrum from Claude Debussy to John Barry. A multifaceted career, doubling as an orchestral conductor as Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, further distinguishes Salvatore Di Vittorio from most orchestral composers today.

Under the auspices (and as Music Director) of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, Maestro Di Vittorio has begun one part of his essential initiative titled Bringing Film To Classical and the ensemble's December 14, 2023, festive concert at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall warmly displays a beautiful merging of film music such as John Williams' E.T. Suite with classical music, including Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. By orchestra-world standards, film music is only performed in concerts either with the film itself or in pops programs, but never regularly merged during the standard seasons with the classical repertoire. Di Vittorio intends to break that culture to help demonstrate the refined history and significance of orchestral music between both genres of classical and film. A master of orchestration with experiences in the classical, film, and fashion worlds, Di Vittorio, will also present his free transcription Suite Verdiana during the same December evening, a work based on some of Giuseppe Verdi's most famous operas. The American pianist Simone Dinnerstein will be showcased performing Mozart's famous Piano Concerto No. 21, "Elvira Madigan."

Di Vittorio's exciting initiative was successfully demonstrated last season under a collaboration with Teatro Massimo Opera of Palermo, Italy, and Chamber Orchestra of New York, where John Williams' Star Wars Suite was coupled with Respighi's Fountains of Rome and Di Vittorio's Voyages of Aeneas - the opera house's commission honoring the 30th anniversary of their concertmaster Salvatore Greco. Both performances between Palermo and New York were sold out in advance. In 2024/2025, Maestro Di Vittorio will launch a set of concerts at the same Palermo opera house under the brand "Respighi in America" Festival along with the world premiere of his Fourth Symphony based on Ovid's Metamorphosis - to also help stimulate repeated performances with numerous international orchestras by featuring works collectively-inspired around the legacies of Respighi, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and John Williams. This universal programming will also feature Di Vittorio's restorations/completions of Respighi's works (under Casa Ricordi) - such as the compositional completion of the Bolognese master's first Violin Concerto - which Di Vittorio was honored to accomplish as the single recipient of the Respighi family commission project in 2008. Several of his autograph manuscripts of the publications are now preserved at The Morgan Library & Museum's prestigious music archive.

The Maestro continues to record for Naxos Records, and his albums with the Chamber Orchestra of New York are airing worldwide to much acclaim. Just this year, Di Vittorio began to expand his expertise in sustaining the always audience-appreciated tradition of melody and orchestration into his very first film score project. Di Vittorio received an Award of Excellence for Best Score at the IndieFest Film Festival for orchestration, arrangement, and conducting of the documentary Transformation, directed by Nancy Hamilton and featuring Steven Baldwin. Film and Naxos album releases are now forthcoming. More soon!

Salvatore Di Vittorio's contributions to the world of orchestral music are developing a unique crossover musical journey like no other before. Stay tuned for further updates on this groundbreaking initiative as Salvatore Di Vittorio continues redefining his musical composition and performance boundaries. He also captivates audiences with his extraordinary vision and lighthearted approaches to programming over the coming seasons, from classical to film and far more.

Learn more about the Carnegie Hall concert on December 14th:

Event: Festive Concert of Chamber Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall - Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 7:30 pm
Soloist: Simone Dinnerstein, piano
[Submitted by Sandra Richardson]


Paris, October 25, 2023 - Brace yourselves, sports enthusiasts!

Paris, October 25, 2023 - Brace yourselves, sports enthusiasts! The Springboks are on the brink of a monumental Rugby World Cup showdown against the formidable All Blacks. Yet, the tantalizing allure of this clash is tainted with the enigmatic decisions looming over South Africa's coaching brigade, creating more enigmas than answers in the lead-up to this titanic face-off.

Unyielding in their resolve, the Bok mentors have hinted an unaltered 23-man squad. Despite nail-biting performances in recent playoffs versus France and England, where they eked out razor-thin victories, the confidence they inspire remains divisive, leaving fans and pundits grappling for a verdict: Have the Boks indeed cracked the code to victory?

But the veneer of hope crafted by these victories is cloaked in the uncertainty of the squad's overall mettle, pushing the coaching dream team into a relentless whirlwind of introspection and scrutiny, dissecting every minute detail. As the crescendo of the final team announcement looms large, one thing is abundantly clear: no player is an untouchable icon in this ensemble. The coaching brass reiterate that they possess not one, not two, but a trio of ace alternatives in every position, ready to rise to the occasion when the World Cup fires its ultimate test.

Such resolve might have held water at the dawn of this global spectacle. However, the terrain altered dramatically with the devastating tournament-ending injury to star hooker Malcolm Marx. The Boks have since stretched the limits of their front-row reserves to the brink. A recent storm clouded the Boks' semifinal encounter with England, with accusations of racial slurs hurled at Bongi Mbonambi, the Boks' stand-in captain. The fallout has seen World Rugby launch a full-scale investigation into Tom Curry's claims, casting an even more foreboding shadow over the Boks' final preparations.

The outcome of this inquiry could be seismic. A guilty verdict could see Mbonambi sidelined, a potentially devastating blow to the Boks. In the wake of Marx's absence, Mbonambi's prominence has soared to unprecedented heights, making him the linchpin of the squad.

His leadership shone through when he captained in a World Cup warm-up match in Buenos Aires, a tactical decision that shielded against uncertainties around Siya Kolisi's fitness. Kolisi's return to the pitch has seen him share the captain's armband with Mbonambi, but fate threw a cruel twist in the Boks' path, with Marx suffering a debilitating injury in training after the Scotland encounter. This scenario forced the Boks to explore unconventional solutions in the front row, leaving the coaching brain trust in a quandary.

Their shrewdness in managing player rotations during pool matches reflects their adaptability. Mbonambi's game time has been meticulously doled out, ensuring he's primed for the crunch playoff encounters. The challenge posed by France and England demanded a shift in strategy, with Mbonambi defying tradition to play a full 80 minutes, a rarity for front-row powerhouses. Now, the nagging concern lingers: Will Mbonambi, the indispensable hooker and designated captain for the ultimate showdown, enter the championship fray bearing the weight of an extraordinary playing load in 2023?

Mbonambi's presence on the field has graced 11 of the 12 Tests to date, seven of which saw him start. Amongst the Bok forwards, only Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen have eclipsed his game time during this World Cup campaign. Yet, strategic management is paramount, and this juggling act could sway the coaching team's verdict, especially concerning the bench.

The Handré Pollard saga adds an additional layer of intrigue. Emerging from a strenuous calf injury, South Africa's preferred flyhalf was notably absent from the World Cup's initial squad. Only a subsequent injury to Marx earned him a call-up. Pollard's appearances have been meticulously stage-managed to ensure he doesn't overexert himself. While he began in a pool match against Tonga, cautious reservations prompted the coaching gurus to keep him on the bench for crucial duels against France and England. This choice paid off handsomely, with Pollard sealing the deal through his late-game heroics.

The million-dollar question now looms large: Should the Boks adhere to the Libbok-Pollard partnership for the grand finale against the All Blacks? The response hinges on Pollard's state of fitness. His seasoned experience and proven match-winning prowess make him an alluring choice. However, with a rain-soaked final forecasted, the suitability of Pollard for such conditions introduces an element of risk. The coaching dilemma is pregnant with implications, as this pivotal choice could determine whether the Boks grasp glory or resign themselves to the position of runners-up.

The selection of the final bench, too, remains an enigma. Ideally, the coaching team would have relished a 6-2 split between forwards and backs. Alas, circumstances dictate a 5-3 divide, accommodating Pollard among the substitutes.
In their most recent clash against the All Blacks, the Boks favored a lopsided 7-1 forward-back split, a risky gambit that nearly backfired. In subsequent games, they embraced a more balanced 6-2 configuration, reigniting hopes of a comeback victory.

The precipice upon which the coaching staff now stands is unprecedented. They are forced to weigh the tantalizing prospect of fresh All Black legs against the wearied Bok ensemble. Players like Mbonambi, Kitshoff, and Malherbe carry the fatigue of intense game time. The performance of the Bok bench will be a cornerstone of their aspirations. A plethora of possibilities presents itself, including the quandary of selecting an additional lock or loose forward, a choice that might spell doom for Libbok, despite his recent heroics.

In the greater tapestry of game management and nerve-wracking goal-kicking, Pollard's unwavering reliability overshadows Libbok's recent exploits. The ultimate verdict on Pollard's readiness will bear colossal consequences, potentially sealing the fate of this epic final.

As the showdown of the century against the All Blacks edges closer, the Bok coaches find themselves at the heart of a raging tempest of uncertainty. Their choices could either etch their names in history or thrust them into the abyss of unfulfilled dreams. The grand revelation awaits at the Stade de France this Saturday, as the rugby universe holds its breath.

In the lead-up to the final, the revered Felix Jones, an imposing figure within the Bok camp, underscores the historic significance of this monumental clash against the All Blacks. He radiates palpable excitement, emphasizing the electric intensity of this long-standing rivalry, elevating the encounter to the highest echelons of sporting spectacle.
Jones also waxes eloquent on the resurgent New Zealand team, spotlighting their impressive strides in rucking and kicking facets of the game. The Bok mentors have left no stone unturned in their meticulous preparation, focusing unwaveringly on player performance and nurturing a cohesive team atmosphere.

As the final inches closer, one thing is beyond dispute: this colossal stage is set for a World Cup final that promises unrivaled drama.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

South Africa – October 25, 2023 - Prepare to be swept away by the grand symphony of sounds because Big Concerts has just unveiled South Africa's ultimate international music festival – Calabash South Africa!

South Africa – October 25, 2023 - Prepare to be swept away by the grand symphony of sounds because Big Concerts has just unveiled South Africa's ultimate international music festival – Calabash South Africa! Get ready to witness the world's top artists like never before on the grandest stages of them all: DHL Stadium in Cape Town and FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. In early 2024, this flagship festival will be set ablaze by none other than the chart-topping Grammy Award-winning pop-rock legends, Maroon 5. But that's just the beginning; the lineup boasts other musical luminaries including Keane, Meduza, Ava Max, Will Linley, and Lloyiso.

With the electrifying and distinctive vocals of Adam Levine, Maroon 5 has graced the airwaves with chart-topping hits that include "Moves like Jagger," "Sugar," "Payphone," and "Girls Like You." Honored with three prestigious Grammy Awards, this band has garnered an unwavering global fan base.

Hailing from Battle, East Sussex, the British sensation, Keane, known for their piano-driven pop-rock sound, will add their magic to the festival. Gaining recognition in the early 2000s with their debut album "Hopes and Fears," Keane will mark the 20th anniversary of this iconic release in 2024, featuring hit singles like "Somewhere Only We Know" and "Everybody's Changing." Despite a hiatus post their 2013 album "The Best of Keane," their introspective lyrics and captivating melodies continue to resonate in the world of music.

In just two short years, Meduza has ascended to become the most significant global streaming Italian artist in the history of Italy's music. Their debut release, "Piece of Your Heart" featuring Goodboys, has amassed over 2 billion streams worldwide and secured a place in the top 10 of official charts in 20 countries. Meduza continues to set the benchmark for dance music globally.

Ava Max, the chart-topping pop sensation, promises to set the stage on fire at Calabash South Africa. Known for her electric performances and powerhouse vocals, Ava Max has enthralled audiences worldwide with her infectious energy and dynamic stage presence. With hits like "Sweet but Psycho" and "Kings & Queens," she has cemented her position as a global pop icon, and her performance at Calabash is expected to be nothing short of spectacular.

The lineup also features South Africa-born singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Will Linley, who weaves raw emotion with melodic sweetness, lamenting the woes of heartbreak with unforgettable hooks delivered with unfiltered candor.

And last but by no means least, Lloyiso, the acclaimed South African musician and SAMA nominee, who has firmly established himself as a rising star within the country's vibrant music scene. With his soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, Lloyiso has captivated audiences worldwide, earning him a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim. Pushing boundaries and redefining the possibilities of his craft, Lloyiso has solidified his position as a true musical force, dedicated to both artistic integrity and creative innovation.

Big Concerts CEO Justin Van Wyk exclaimed, “Calabash South Africa is the international music festival we've all been yearning for! Featuring the world's biggest artists, cutting-edge production, and commanding the largest venues on the African continent, it's a culmination of years of planning and a celebration of the sheer power of music. This festival is poised to expand into multiple days and stages in the future, promising an unforgettable experience."

Calabash South Africa is proudly presented by Big Concerts, in collaboration with Discovery Bank and Heineken. Whether you're craving the VIP treatment, a cozy hospitality retreat, or something in between, this festival has you covered for an experience that will linger in your memories.

Discovery VIP Experience:

Premier in-house Platinum seating near the stage.
Dedicated fast-track entrance.
Exclusive check-in and on-site VIP event staff.
Access to VIP bars with complimentary beers, ciders, and soft drinks.
Business Lounge (Cape Town):

Premium seated ticket in the Business Lounge on the 4th level of the western side of the stadium.
Private bar and ablution facilities.
Complimentary light snacks and 4x drinks tokens (beers, ciders, soft drinks).
Wine and spirits available for purchase.
Stadium Management Lounge (Johannesburg):

Prime Position Viewing Lounge Ticket.
Buffet Meals.
Premium Bar.
Parking 1:4.
Fully staffed facility.
For the most up-to-date information on the tour and tickets, as well as the latest news, visit or follow Calabash South Africa on social media:

Tickets will be available starting at 9 AM on Friday, November 3, 2023, at or

The Discovery Bank pre-sale will kick off at 09h00 on Wednesday, November 1, on and will run until 08h59 on Friday, November 3. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 09h00 on Friday, November 3, 2023, from or Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

PARIS — In a heart-stopping display of resilience, the Springboks seized a dramatic 16-15 victory against England in the Rugby World Cup semifinal at Stade de France on Saturday.
PARIS — In a heart-stopping display of resilience, the Springboks seized a dramatic 16-15 victory against England in the Rugby World Cup semifinal at Stade de France on Saturday. The defending champions, South Africa, weathered 70 minutes of English prowess and strategy before launching a remarkable comeback, securing their place in the final for a chance at consecutive titles.

As the dust settled, it was clear that one of these fierce rivals, South Africa or New Zealand, would etch their name in history with a record fourth World Cup victory. With England's departure from the competition, the coveted trophy appears destined to remain in the southern hemisphere.

South Africa's sheer dominance in the scrum played a pivotal role in their triumph over England. However, this defining moment materialized in the dying minutes of another nail-biting knockout match at this World Cup. Replacement props Ox Nche and Vincent Koch executed a monumental, last-ditch effort to win a crucial penalty near the halfway line. This set the stage for the game-winning kick by replacement flyhalf Handre Pollard, executed with less than two minutes left on the clock.

Pollard's ice-cold accuracy was reminiscent of his late-game heroics in the thrilling 29-28 Springboks victory over the host nation, France, in the quarterfinals.

In the post-match euphoria, Pollard remarked, "It's unbelievable. It's a lot of relief in this moment. Frustrated we weren't at our best tonight, especially in that first half. We knew we had so much more to give but fair play to England, they put us under pressure in exactly the right areas. But, jeez, the fight we showed never giving up, it is what we stand for as a team and as a nation."

Throughout the match, England held the lead until Pollard's monumental kick from a distance of approximately 50 meters catapulted the Springboks into their second consecutive Rugby World Cup final. This heartbreaking defeat denied England their long-awaited redemption. South Africa has repeatedly proven to be their nemesis, having defeated them in quarterfinals, semifinals, and two finals, including the title clash four years ago.

England's captain, Owen Farrell, in a poignant moment of reflection, commented, "After a difficult loss like this all that stands with me is how proud I am to be English. You can always look back at things but South Africa are a top, top side. They have shown that over the course of the World Cup."

Throughout the majority of the match, England expertly executed their game plan, asserting control and commanding the field. They capitalized on their strategy of sending high kicks into the Springboks' territory. England's scrumhalf, Alex Mitchell, and flyhalf, Owen Farrell, skillfully maneuvered the high bombs, causing constant trouble for the Springboks. England displayed supremacy in nearly every facet, with Farrell adding four penalties in the first half and a remarkable long-range drop goal in the second half, resulting in a 15-6 lead.

The haunting scoreline echoed past encounters, with England suffering a 15-6 defeat to the Boks in the 2007 final in Paris, which only added to the emotional complexity of the match.

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

MUMBAI, Saturday - The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai witnessed a scintillating performance in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup as Heinrich Klaasen's remarkable century propelled South Africa to a historic 229-run win over defending champions England.

MUMBAI, Saturday - The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai witnessed a scintillating performance in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup as Heinrich Klaasen's remarkable century propelled South Africa to a historic 229-run win over defending champions England. The right-handed dynamo blazed through 109 runs off just 67 balls, embellishing his innings with 12 boundaries and four colossal sixes, setting an imposing target of 400 runs for the 2019 winners.

Klaasen found solid support from the sensational Marco Jansen, who not only smashed an unbeaten 75 off 42 deliveries, featuring three fours and six maximums but also contributed with the ball, grabbing two crucial wickets for 35 runs.

In the absence of captain Temba Bavuma due to illness, Reeza Hendricks (85 off 75 balls, including 9 fours and 3 sixes) and Rassie van der Dussen (60 off 61 balls, with 8 boundaries) also showcased their prowess with crucial half-centuries.

However, England's response was lackluster as they crumbled to a mere 170 runs, getting bowled out in just 22 overs, marking their heaviest One-Day International (ODI) defeat.

For the South African team, this victory was a spectacular comeback following a disappointing performance earlier in the week when they suffered a shocking loss to the Netherlands in Dharamsala. With this win, they climbed to the third position on the table, trailing leaders India and New Zealand by just two points. Their next challenge awaits them on Tuesday when they take on Bangladesh at the same venue.

The South African side will be riding high on confidence after their exceptional display against one of the world's top cricket teams.

England's decision to field first after winning the toss turned out to be a regrettable one, as they conceded the highest ever runs in their ODI history. Despite an early dismissal of Quinton de Kock for just four runs, the Proteas built a solid foundation with a 121-run partnership between Van der Dussen and Hendricks. Klaasen and Markram further accelerated the scoring, putting on 69 runs for the fourth wicket. After the departure of the stand-in captain and David Miller, the South Africans unleashed a run-scoring frenzy.

Klaasen and Jansen's record-breaking sixth-wicket partnership of 151 runs propelled the South African total to 399 for seven, surpassing the previous record of 137 set by Hansie Cronje and Shaun Pollock.

In response, England's batting faltered as they lost key players like Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, and Ben Stokes within the first nine overs. Their innings collapsed to 68 for six. Despite a late fightback from Gus Atkinson and Mark Wood, who added 70 runs for the ninth wicket, it wasn't enough to prevent a record-breaking defeat.

England will need to regroup and recover from this devastating loss as they continue their campaign in the World Cup.
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]

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