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Tim Van Noort -- former South African Indoor Cricket World Cup Captain
ICW: In the first part of this interview, you mentioned you were concerned at everyone crowding around the third umpire during the World Cup games. What was your concern? And what do you think of the third umpire?
Let me start by saying the third umpire is a great idea! I watched some of the video footage and it is amazing how far out some of the run outs are. During the 2003 world cup I had nothing against the third umpire (Alan Kisbey-Green i think), but I was concerned that he was in a position where he could perhaps not focus totally on his job. People were able to crowd around him as he was deliberating. As with the 1998 world cup, the third umpire should have been on an extended stand with the main umpire, away from the madding crowd. I absolutely do not believe he was unduly influenced in any way at all, but it just did not look very professional. The crowd could have watched on a big screen like 1998! Alan Kisby-Green is one of the most professional umpires who has ever given me out - besides yourself of course!
ICW: Moving right along :) . . . Okay, you had become a regular International indoor cricketer. What was life like for you then?
Life as an Indoor cricketer pretty much revolves around what to do between tours/tournaments, be it the local centre competitions, club champs, inter provincial or international tours. Unfortunately it also involved a great deal of fund raising for future tours. As soon as one ended, getting money together for the next began. I suppose this is a perfect opportunity to thank all of those people that gave financial support to both myself and teams such as Transvaal/Gauteng (my state/provincial side) and South Africa over the years. The secret was always having enough left over for a few quiet beers! Hmmm, I think this is also an opportune point for me to thank my wife for all of her support over the years. There is a saying that comes to mind: " It's a funny kind of month October - for the really keen cricket fan it's when you realise your wife left you in May" (Denis Norden). My good wife has become a very knowledgeable cricket fan herself, but most importantly, without her love and understanding I would not be where I am today. I also hope that my son Oliver decides to play this great game of ours as it has taught me a great deal about life...
ICW: Well said sir.
ICW: Okay, back to the life of an International Indoor Cricketer--what about training/practise? Did you have any programme of training/practise between tournaments?
Between league, super league and provincial tours we played a lot of indoor cricket which always kept us in touch. During my time a large percentage of the Springbok team was based in Transvaal (including Eastern and Northern Transvaal) - now Gauteng. We played with and against each other on a regular basis so this was great. It also made it logistically a lot easier to have squad training before a tour as probably 90% of us were based there.
ICW: Any other highlights across your career so far?
Yes. Over my whole time as an indoor cricketer, the constant highlight has been the many people that I have had the privilege of meeting during my time on the court (and off it). It is hard to imagine a more social environment to participate in a sporting event! Wherever I managed to play a game of Indoor Cricket around the globe, there has always been a cold beer and a friendly face waiting in the bar.
ICW: And locals willing to swap shirts. I still wear the "1997 Eastern Cape I.P.T." shirt whenever I'm in a team that has white shirts as its uniform.
Of course! I have quite a decent collection of team shirts myself. I actually have some masters shirts from Northern territory and others that if I'm not mistaken I received from you? (you did indeed! ). It is a great part of a tour collecting memorabilia and signing bats and shirts etc. particularly when you realise that you are role model to a lot of young kids. It is a good feeling and something I want to work on through my coaching is to give kids the chance to experience what I have had the privilege of experiencing through indoor cricket.
ICW: I'd like to talk about your coaching a little later . . . perhaps we'll leave that for another installment. So, other than extending the opportunities to swap shirts, what do you see as the future of the sport?
In South Africa, from what I have heard, there is a great deal of development going on. It seems that the two major companies involved have resolved their differences for the long-term benefit of the game.
ICW: Yes, we were relieved and pleased to see the reconciliation between Action and the South African Indoor Cricket Association.
There does however still seem to be some disagreement and argument concerning player eligibility, although I haven't spoken to anyone deeply involved over there for a little while, so maybe things are more settled. Let's hope so.
ICW: And player development in South Africa?
When I last played there at the 2000 World Cup, the youngsters that played in the warm-up games to the tests impressed me immensely. There has also been a great emphasis placed on u19 teams and younger participating on an international level which is absolutely brilliant. I believe that there are plans in the UK for the same sort of development which I think is the only way to ensure the survival of the sport on this island!
ICW: I saw the South African Under 19 Boys and Girls in New Zealand earlier this year, and there certainly are some outstanding players in their ranks. And the South African Girls walked away from that tournament as World Champions!!
I have not had the pleasure of seeing many of them in action, but all I can say is that the sport seems to be growing immensely in South Africa. There must be a very large pool of young talent emerging out of the many centres around the country, and they are being exposed to a high level of competition at the many well run tournaments and festivals that take part on an annual basis. Watch out world!
Indoor Cricket World's interview with Tim van Noort continues in Part 3, in which Tim talks about the state of the sport in the UK, and his thoughts and observations on the promotion and marketing of the sport around the world.