Like many ardent fans of the gentleman’s game I confess to being blown away by the awesome ferocity and near unrivalled destructiveness of Matthew Hayden, however, his opening pairing with Sunil Gavaskar at the expense of the grittier but slightly more consistent Graeme Smith is a delivery just outside off stump.  

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is very little hairs to split between the two.  A look at the most obvious metrics shows Smith has scored 9265 runs at an average of 48.25 and has a top score of 277, with Hayden scoring 8625 at an average of 50.73 and a remarkable 380 as his high score.  In terms of 100s, Smith compiled a respectable 27 with 38 half-centuries, while Hayden has scored 30 hundreds and 29 fifties.   

As previously stated, its remarkably close, but let’s begin this discussion by pointing to an often-overlooked consideration, Smith made his mark, while also shouldering the responsibility of being a captain. After taking the role at the tender age of 22 years old, Smith was often tasked with leading from the front with his bat and rarely failed to do so, despite the additional responsibility. For a great many players, the task of both has led to either one thing or the other suffering.

Smith was never technically as gifted as Hayden, but what he lacked in ability, he certainly made up for in sheer determination and toughness.  No one should ever forget his brutal double ton against England in 2008 or the way he battled away in poor light to score 154, a total that led the Proteas to a first series victory in England since their reinstatement. Smith also led South Africa in a chase of 418 in Australia where he scored a memorably aggressive ton and was the first captain to beat Australia, in Australia, in 16 years.

His mental fortitude was such that he averaged more away from home than within the confines of his country. The batsman averaged a healthy 54.99 away from home as opposed to 41.52 in South Africa.  By contrast, Hayden averaged 57.89 at home and 42.69 on his travels.

In making the selection we should also consider the argument that can be made for Smith being a marginally more consistent scorer. In revisiting the stats, we can recall that Hayden has scored 30 centuries compared to Smith’s 27, and his highest total of 380, compiled against Zimbabwe, is second only to Brian Lara’s world record 400. Smith’s best of 277 came against England in 2003. 

A closer look at the numbers, however, makes for interesting reading. 

Smith has scored a double hundred on five occasions compared to Hayden’s two.  In terms of daddy hundreds (scores of above 140), it is again Smith who leads the statistics with 11 compared to Hayden’s five, which shows that he got to bigger totals more often.

 

Somerset have announced that Vernon Philander's contract has been cancelled by mutual consent due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The seamer signed a Kolpak deal with the county after calling time on his South Africa career following the Test series against England earlier this year.

Philander, who turns 35 next month, was due to join Somerset early in April but will not play for the club this season.

There will be no professional cricket in England and Wales until July 1 at the earliest, so Somerset and Philander agreed to cancel the former Proteas bowler's contract with immediate effect.

Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry said: "These are clearly very uncertain and challenging times for all Counties with no cricket until at least the 1st July and the likelihood of a condensed and truncated season.

"It was such an exciting prospect to visualise Vernon returning to the County Ground, but given the current uncertainty the cancellation of his contract was a prudent and sensible decision.

"I would like to thank Vernon and his management team for their understanding of the current situation and we hope one day to see Vernon back wearing Somerset colours."

At the height of his career, Dale Steyn was perhaps South Africa's best-ever bowler. His extreme pace, the ability to swing the ball both ways, and accuracy made him the bane of the world’s batsmen.

He played just seven first-class matches before he was selected for South Africa and made his debut against England in 2004.

He did not have an immediate impact, but after honing his craft playing for Essex in Division 2 of the county championship and the 2005-06 domestic season, he returned a different beast.

He took 16 wickets in his second series against New Zealand but when he faced them the following season, the summer of 2007-08, he announced himself as one of the fierce fast men.

Steyn took 10 wickets in the first Test in Johannesburg. Then, shortly after lunch on the first day of the second Test in Centurion, he delivered a short ball to Craig Cumming, who missed. The ball crashed into his face and sent him to intensive care.

The flow of wickets became a gush, and in 2008, he became the fastest South African at the time, and the 15th fastest overall, to reach 100 Test wickets. That September, Steyn was named ICC Test Player of the Year after taking 86 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 18.10.

He went on to win the Test championship with the team in England in 2012 and took his 300th Test wicket the following year against New Zealand. He was only the fourth South African to rack up that many scalps. 

 

Career Statistics 

Full name: Dale Willem Steyn

Born: June 27, 1983, Phalaborwa

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Botha XI, Cape Cobras, Cape Town Blitz, Deccan Chargers, Essex, Glamorgan, Gujarat Lions, Hampshire, Islamabad United, Jamaica Tallawahs, Melbourne Stars, Nelson Mandela Bay Stars, North Eastern Transvaal, Northerns, Proteas, Rest of South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa A, South African Invitation XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Titans, Warwickshire

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

Test Career: South Africa (2004-2019)

Mat    Inns    Balls       Runs      Wkts     BBI     BBM     Ave     Econ      SR     4w     5w     10w

93      171     18608     10077    439       7/51   11/60   22.95   3.24     42.3   27      26       5 

 Career Highlights

  • Best strike rate of any bowler over 300 Test wickets (42.3)
  • 8 times selected to ICC Test Team of the Year
  • Took 439 wickets at 22.95
  • 9th most 5-wicket hauls in Tests (26)

South Africa’s Mark Boucher is a hard man. Uncompromising, aggressive, and forever competitive, the short, stocky framed wicketkeeper/batsman enjoyed a brilliant 15-year career that ended, in a word, tragically. Boucher was forced into retirement after being hitin the eye during a warm-up game. Behind the stumps, there were not many to challenge his skill, but it didn’t start that way. Initially, he was a lower-order batsman, who could keep wicket. His first tour to England saw him keep quite poorly, failing to negotiate late swing after the ball had pitched.

Here is where Boucher’s determination makes him a great, because his glovework over the course of his career would become renowned. That improvement came at the hands of hard work, with many pointing to Boucher doing wicketkeeping drills long after everybody in the South African squad had gone home. Today, he is the holder of the Test record for most dismissals and his 555 in just 147 Tests, won’t soon be caught.

He could bat too and was well known for being the stodgy last line of defence in the South African lower order.   

Career Statistics

Full name: Mark Verdon Boucher

Born: December 3, 1976, East London, Cape Province

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Border, Cape Cobras, ICC World XI, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Warriors

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

Test Career: South Africa (1997-2012)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave       BF        SR    100s    50s     Ct      St

147     206      24      5515    125    30.30   11005    50.11      5      35       532    23

 

Career Highlights

  • Most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in Tests (555)
  • Only 25 of his dismissals came against spin
  • One of only two players to score over 5000 runs as a wicketkeeper
  • 2008 Wisden Cricketer of the Year
  • Scored 5 Test centuries and 35 half centuries

Hailing from a family of cricketing legends, it was no surprise when Pollock went on to become one himself.

Son of respected Peter Pollock and nephew of the legendary Graeme Pollock, the junior Pollock went on to make his name as one of the finest all-rounders to represent South Africa.

After a steady beginning, Pollock had the world’s attention when he took 69 wickets in 14 Test matches in 1998, which included his career-best figures of 7/87.

His uncanny accuracy and ability to move the ball both ways were the pedestals to his consistent performance.

He was handed the onus of Test captaincy in 2000. Unlike many other captains, his performances flourished with the burden of captaincy and he took his first and only 10-wicket haul during this period, against India in 2001-02.

He was also a handy batsman, scoring two centuries and 16 50s from his 108 matches at a good average of 32.31.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shaun Maclean Pollock

Born: 16 July 1973 (age 46)

Place of Birth: Port Elizabeth, Cape Province, South Africa

Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)

Batting Style: Right-handed

Bowling Style: Right arm fast-medium

Role: All-rounder

 

Test Career (Batting) - South Africa (1995–2008)

Mat    Inns      NO    Runs     HS     Avg     BF     SR        100     50           

108     156        39     3781     111    32.31  7198    52.52       2      16           

 

Test Career (Bowling) – South Africa (1995-2008)

Mat    Inns    Balls      Runs    Wkts   BBI     BBM     Ave    Econ    SR     4w     5w    10w

108    202    24353        9733    421      7/87   10/147   23.11   2.39    57.8    23      16       1 

 

Career Highlights

  • One of six players to score 3000 runs and capture 400 wickets in Tests
  • Tallied 3781 runs at an average of 32.31
  • Scored two hundreds and 16 fifties
  • Captured 421 wickets at 23.11

Jacques Kallis was the broad-shouldered colossus of the South African team.

Graeme Smith made his name with a tour of England in 2003. He made consecutive double hundreds and his 259 remains the highest score by a foreigner at Lord's. Smith finished the series with an aggregate of 714 runs at an average of 79.33, and ended up as the joint Man of the Series.

Smith's captaincy as well as his batting mirror his personality; strong, demonstrative and outwardly aggressive. As with all left-handers, he is strong off the pads and will punish the loose ones on the offside with equal felicity. Though he may not look as elegant as most lefties do, Smith is a relentless attacker and scores his runs quickly thereby giving his side the chance to bowl out most teams.

 

Career Statistics 

Full name: Graeme Craig Smith

Born: February 1, 1981, Johannesburg, Transvaal

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Cape Cobras, Gauteng, Hampshire Cricket Board, ICC World XI, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals, Somerset, Surrey, Western Province

Playing role: Opening batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

 

Test Career – South Africa (2002-2014)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave      SR         100s 50s   

117    205    13        9265     277    48.25    59.67       27     38    

 

Career Highlights

  • Holds the world record of captaining in most number of Test matches. He is also the only player to captain in excess of 100 Test matches. (109 – 108 as captain for South Africa, and 1 for ICC).
  • Holds the world record of highest number of wins in Test matches as a captain with 53 wins.
  • Holds the most number of centuries (15) by a captain in Test match wins.
  • He also holds the world record of a non-wicketkeeper taking most catches (82) in Test match wins.
  • Fastest South African cricketer to reach 1000 Test runs.
  • Holds the record for scoring the most number of Test runs as captain (8659).

South Africa assistant coach Enoch Nkwe says the prospect of AB de Villiers regaining the Proteas captaincy has never been discussed.

De Villiers has made no secret of his desire to come out of international retirement, but last week emphatically denied reports Cricket South Africa had asked him to take a leadership role.

Quinton de Kock only replaced Faf du Plessis as white-ball captain earlier this year and a decision on the next Test skipper is expected to be announced in the near future.

Nkwe was surprised to read claims that De Villiers had been given the chance to take the captaincy and welcomed his swift denial of such claims.

He told Stats Perform: "I was shocked because from our position, we've never discussed anything like that.

"I was completely surprised because generally if something like that is going to happen myself and Mark [Boucher, head coach] would talk about it, including Graeme Smith [director of cricket], over a call, chat about ideas on who do we think would be captain going forward for however long.

"To see something like that was a complete surprise. I suppose maybe it could be someone out there just trying to make something out of nothing and I'm happy to see AB himself say that's not such.

"There's definitely been communication with regards to him returning because of the [Twenty20] World Cup and I know he would love to make an impact and win a World Cup for our country.

"That's clear, it's out there, he said it himself. But with regards to captaincy, that's pretty new to me and as far as I'm concerned nothing has been discussed behind the scenes."

SA Rugby has admitted it is considering the possibility of rescheduling the British and Irish Lions tour due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Warren Gatland's Lions are due to visit South Africa next July and August for a tour that will feature three Tests against the world champions.

However, the outbreak of COVID-19 could have a knock-on effect on that tour, with Northern Hemisphere countries facing up to the possibility of missing out on revenue from internationals that may have to be scrapped later this year.

A report over the weekend claimed the Lions' 2021 tour to South Africa could be cancelled entirely as World Rugby contemplates how to reschedule the calendar when the sport returns.

SA Rugby has insisted the Lions tour remains on, though it conceded the dates are being looked at.

"While we continue to look forward to an incredible tour by The British and Irish Lions next year, and there are no planned changes, it would be remiss of us not to explore various scenarios for a possible date change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said an SA Rugby spokesperson.

The Lions last toured South Africa in 2009, losing 2-1 to the Springboks.

They have since beaten Australia 2-1 and drawn with New Zealand under Gatland.

Ali Bacher has urged the cricket world to accept behind-closed-doors matches could be the salvation of the sport at international level.

Bacher, 77, went from playing for and captaining South Africa to becoming the most powerful administrator in the country by the turn of the century.

Now he believes cricket must unite behind rescue plans amid the global coronavirus crisis to avert a financial calamity, insisting safeguarding broadcast income must be the priority.

Only by putting on international matches can that be guaranteed, with Bacher urging governing bodies to be as creative and receptive to the new state of the world as needs be.

He told the Times of India: "So many of us wake up every day and hope that the virus has gone. This will not happen.

"World medical experts predict that this pandemic will last anything up to 18 months. The consequences for world cricket would be very serious, unless world cricket agrees to and allows international cricket matches to be played to empty stadiums.

"The massive global TV audience would not diminish and the income the Test-playing countries would receive from the broadcasters would allow them to survive this crisis, which is unprecedented since World War II."

Bacher has urged South Africa and India to consider switching their recently aborted ODI series to a neutral territory, such as the United Arab Emirates.

He said: "Our government medical advisers have gone public and said that the coronavirus will hit South Africa the hardest in July and August. Maybe Sourav [Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India] and Graeme [Smith, South Africa's director of cricket] should be looking now at possible new venues like the UAE hoping that the airline industry will be functioning in August."

It is 17 years to the day since Jacques Rudolph announced himself on the Test stage with a magnificent debut double-century for South Africa against Bangladesh.

Rudolph crafted a brilliant 222 not out on day three of a crushing innings-and-60-run win in Chittagong aged only 21.

Australia's Charles Bannerman was the first cricketer to score a century on his Test bow against England way back in 1877, while the great W.G. Grace also hit a debut hundred.

We pick out five of the best debuts in the longest format over the years.

 

TIP-TOP FOSTER MAKES AUSTRALIA SUFFER

Reginald Erskine Foster, or 'Tip' as he was known, grasped his opportunity with both hands after being selected for the first Ashes Test in 1903.

Business commitments prevented Foster from making his England debut earlier, but he made up for lost time in Sydney with a record-breaking innings.

He made 287 - more than Australia's first innings total - after coming in at number five in the tourists' first innings, finding the boundary on 37 occasions.

England went on to win by five wickets thanks to Foster's knock, a Test record on debut. 

 

SWEET 16 FOR MASSIE

Bob Massie could not have dreamed of a better start to what proved to be a short Australia career.

The seamer tore through England in both innings of the second Test at Lord's in June 1972, claiming an incredible 16 wickets in the match.

Massie took 8-84 in the first innings and 8-53 second time around, setting up an emphatic eight-wicket victory.

His match figures of 16-137 are the fourth-best in Test history, not bad for a bowler who went on to play in only nine matches for his country.

 

ROWE THE KING OF SABINA PARK

Big things were expected of Lawrence Rowe ahead of his West Indies debut on his home ground Sabina Park against New Zealand in 1972.

The Jamaican batsman lived up to the hype in spectacular fashion, striking a flawless 214 in the first innings in Kingston.

Rowe inflicted more punishment on the tourists' attack in the second innings with 100 not out, becoming the first man to score a double-century and a hundred on his Test debut.

New Zealand salvaged a draw, but that did not take the gloss of the exploits of Rowe, who said: "This is my home ground, and I have no right to get out here."

 

TEENAGER HIRWANI TEARS THROUGH WINDIES

Narendra Hirwani hit the ground running with a sensational India bow against West Indies in Chennai 32 years ago.

The bespectacled leg spinner took 16 wickets in the fourth Test, with 8-61 in the first innings and 8-75 to put the seal on a 255-run thumping.

The 19-year-old claimed the scalps of greats such as Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes and Richie Richardson on a pitch that he would have loved to have rolled up and taken with him.

Hirwani played only 17 Tests, with his staggering debut proving to be something of a false dawn but his match figures of 16-136 versus the Windies are the third-best in the longest format.

 

RUDOLPH TAMES TIGERS

Rudolph was just 21 when he got his chance to showcase his talents in the longest format and he showed his class in MA Aziz Stadium.

The left-hander shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 429 with Boeta Dippenaar, a South Africa record and the 10th highest in Test history.

Rudolph hit two sixes and found the rope 29 times in a masterful innings, laying the platform for a huge victory along with Dippenaar.

Bangladesh were unable to take a wicket on day two and were eventually put out of their misery when Graeme Smith declared on the third day.

Steve Hansen has backed Warren Gatland's idea to stage a "decider" between the British and Irish Lions and New Zealand in 2021.

Gatland steered the Lions to a drawn series against Hansen's All Blacks in 2017 and will lead the team on a tour of South Africa next year.

The former Wales boss suggested a one-off match could be staged ahead of Tests against the Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks, in order to raise funds after the coronavirus pandemic.

While Hansen, who stepped down as All Blacks boss after the World Cup, stated such a game would not settle the 2017 series once and for all due to different personnel being involved, he believes it could be important to the sport's future.

"Well, it won't be a decider because it won't be the same people involved. But what he's really saying is let's have this game to try and help make some money for the game because the game is in trouble," Hansen told Wales Online.

"You have got one rugby nation, in the United States, who have gone bankrupt, we've got Australia on the brink, we know England have got a financial crisis, everybody will have because you are not getting paid the TV rights and those are what makes the game go round.

"The game is in financial crisis. People are struggling. So I think anything that allows us to create some income to support the game is important."

Hansen is now the director of rugby at Toyota Verblitz in Japan's Top League, which last month had its season cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The former All Blacks coach believes the suspension of rugby provides an opportunity to make sweeping changes for the good of the game.

"We have an opportunity now to start with a blank page because you have got everybody putting self-interest to the side," said Hansen.

"They know they could be gone if they don't do the right thing. So it's a great opportunity to bring everybody together, north, south, individual countries and do what it is right for the game. It's been a long time coming because it's been needed for quite some time.

"There has been a lot of self-interest and if we don't do the right thing we could lose the game and that would be a tragedy."

Graeme Smith has been appointed as Cricket South Africa's (CSA) director of cricket on a permanent basis.

The former Proteas captain was given the role for three months back in December.

It had been expected CSA would look to extend his time in the job and he has now been handed an initial two-year contract.

"Graeme has made a huge impact with his energy, expertise, hard work ethic and characteristic determination and passion he has brought to the position during the six months he has served in an acting capacity," said CSA acting chief executive Dr. Jacques Faul.

"Although there is certainly a great deal of work to be done, as reflected by the performances of our various national teams, he has certainly put our cricket on an upward trajectory that provides light at the end of the tunnel.

"He has bought into all the overall pillars of our strategy and that includes the important one of transformation.

"As far as the technical and support teams he has put together are concerned, the black generic component amounted to more than 70 per cent across the board and the Black African component varied between 30 and 60 per cent for the Standard Bank Proteas for the home international season, for the Momentum Proteas for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup and for the ICC under-19 World Cup, which we were privileged and proud to host.

"He also made a number of strategic temporary appointments with Linda Zondi appointed interim independent national selector, Ashwell Prince taking charge of South Africa A and Malibongwe Maketa joining the under-19 squad as a coaching consultant."

Smith added: "My appointment brings a degree of permanency to my position which makes planning the road ahead a lot easier.

"As Dr. Faul has said, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done, not just at international level but throughout our pipeline development pathways as well but I am determined to get South African cricket back to where it belongs as one of the world leaders at international level."

Smith scored 9,265 Test runs and 6,989 in ODI cricket in a decorated career as an opening batsman for his country.

South Africa's youngest skipper, he is the most successful captain in Test history, having led the Proteas to 53 wins in the longest format.

However, they are winless in their last three series, with home defeats to Sri Lanka and England sandwiched by a whitewash in India. They also failed to progress beyond the group stage of last year's World Cup.

As Jurgen Klopp waits for Liverpool's 2019-20 Premier League coronation, he might look back fondly on this day in 2012 when he was nudging ever closer to glory with Borussia Dortmund.

BVB were also involved in a major news story exactly five years later, when their players were stunned by a bomb attack on their team bus before a Champions League game.

Phil Mickelson landed his first major golf title at the Masters in 2004, and a South African cricket great's downfall came on this day in 2000.

Here we look back here at standout sporting moments to have occurred on April 11 through the years.

 

2000 - Disgraced Cronje loses South Africa captaincy

Hansie Cronje was one of South Africa's greatest cricketers, and one of the country's most popular figures. His life unravelled in 2000, however, as it emerged that he had been corrupt.

He was stripped of the South Africa captaincy on April 11, 2000, within days of the first claims emerging, initially from India.

Cronje initially denied wrongdoing, but he later came clean, revealing the depths of his match-fixing dishonesty.

He was banned from cricket for life and died in a plane crash in June 2002. Cronje, nevertheless, is still fondly remembered by many in South Africa.

2004 - Mickelson's Masters

'Lefty' had been a leading contender for major glory for many years, and had been racking up second-placed and third-placed finishes, so it was high time he made a breakthrough.

At the age of 33, it finally came when the American landed a first Green Jacket, fending off Ernie Els by one shot at The Masters.

It was the first of three Augusta triumphs to date for Mickelson, whose third also came on April 11 in 2010, when a closing 67 saw Mickelson overtake 54-hole leader Lee Westwood to win by three.

2012 - Klopp's Dortmund pip Bayern to move to Bundesliga brink

This was Klopp's golden age at Dortmund, as BVB backed up their 2010-11 Bundesliga title campaign with what would be a double-winning season.

A 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich on April 11 was a pivotal moment, as it saw Dortmund pull six points clear of the Bavarians at the top of the table.

The only goal came in the second half with a neat backheel from Robert Lewandowski, who two years later would join Bayern in a stunning snatch for Die Roten.

Bayern, bossed by Jupp Heynckes at the time of this 2012 game, had a late opportunity to draw level, but Arjen Robben had a penalty saved.

Dortmund drubbed Bayern 5-2 in the DFB-Pokal final a month later, Lewandowski grabbing a hat-trick, and they won the league by eight points.

2017 - Dortmund rocked by bomb attack

All of Europe was shocked when three explosions struck the Borussia Dortmund team bus shortly before a Champions League home match against Monaco.

Dortmund defender Marc Bartra was injured, suffering a broken wrist and hand injury and had to undergo surgery, and there was relief nobody was killed. A police motorbike escort rider was also hurt after pipe bombs detonated in a roadside hedge by the team hotel.

Various terrorism theories were raised and investigated before a man was arrested and later charged and found guilty of the attack, having plotted it as part of an attempted elaborate, derivatives-based, financial fraud.

The man, a 29-year-old German-Russian, was jailed for 14 years after being found guilty on 28 counts of attempted murder.

Siya Kolisi says it is vital Nelson Mandela's legacy continues as the South Africa captain opened up on his role in helping the country fight coronavirus.

Kolisi, who skippered the Springboks to Rugby World Cup glory last year, was due to launch his foundation later in 2020.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has launched Kolisi into immediate action and he has partnered with others to make donations to provide vital supplies to frontline medical workers tackling the crisis.

An Instagram post from the flanker's foundation last week explained: "Whilst the Kolisi Foundation was months from launching with different projects in mind, we couldn't ignore the seriousness of COVID-19 so began to focus our energy and resources on supporting our frontline workers – supplying sanitisers and reusable masks. 

"We are thankful that we have been able to lean on our incredible partners to support the project and will look to partner with other established organisations in the future to guarantee our work is as impactful as possible, addressing hunger and other areas close to our heart."

Kolisi said part of his motivation is ensuring the work of former president Mandela continues.

"I just think his legacy must still continue, the rainbow nation he wanted to see,"he told BBC Breakfast.

"Actually working partnering up with the foundation, helping the frontline workers, we're all trying to attack the hunger and help the workers. 

"Just thinking of other people, the way he lived his life, he always wanted to make South Africa better, that's what we're trying to realise to make sure his legacy continues and because we have a beautiful country, so much potential, we can achieve so much. 

"Hopefully can inspire other people too."

Kolisi is drawing on his own experiences of playing as part of a team to aid a country that has had over 1,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has one of the world's strictest lockdowns.

"It's really tough and I think playing in a team squad, this is going to be a team effort from everyone in South Africa and everyone in general, I think everybody has a role to play," he added. 

"It's a time for people to stay at home and not leave our houses, we have a complete lockdown our president has acted swiftly. 

"I think for people who are in a fortunate basis who can help others, food is a big problem at the moment, we're pushing hard on fighting the hunger, making sure people get meals there are a lot kids who go to school just to get one meal.

"I'm trying to provide for that and making sure we help as much as we can."

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