PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):Test captain Jason Holder says the standard of regional pitches needs to be improved if teams are to produce more attractive cricket.The 24-year-old, also the Barbados Pride skipper, said that scores in the ongoing Regional Super50 had been low because pitches were slow and turning and not conducive to good strokeplay.”It’s been tough. Obviously, the scores are not what we’ve been accustomed to in one-day cricket, and I think that’s been due to the slow pitches,” Holder said.”I’ve found it very difficult so far batting in this tournament, in the middle overs especially, and trying to get the ball off the square. I think spinners are dominating it, and that’s because the ball has spun quite early and quite sharply.”I just think we need to work a little bit more on improving our pitches and … strokeplay, and the viewing of the cricket would be a lot better.”The highest total of the tournament has been Jamaica Scorpions’ 260 against minnows ICC Americas at the Sir Frank Worrell ground at St Augustine here in the second-round Group ‘A’ contest.In Group ‘B’ played in St Kitts, the highest total there was 255 by Guyana Jaguars in the final round when they chased down a competitive total set by Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners.Between both groups, there have been 14 totals under 200 runs, with four of these coming at Queen’s Park Oval, and Holder said that the par score at the tournament’s premier venue would be quite small.”It’s been a tough pitch. The games I’ve seen here and have played here have been tough going in terms of batting, so you have to be very sharp in the field in terms of restricting opposition under 200 runs. I think 200, 210 is probably a par score on this track.”The tournament is in its final stages. Barbados Pride clash with Windward Islands Volcanoes in the second semi-final today.
The R2-billion investment will createas many as 2 000 jobs in East London.(Image: Mercedes-Benz) The MBSA East London plant is expectedto install the latest technology to producethe C-Class in 2014.(Image: Shamin Chibba)MEDIA CONTACTS • Annelise van der LaanMercedes-Benz SA+27 012 677 1903 or +27 82 820 7546RELATED ARTICLES• Mercedes-Benz SA tops for quality• A joule of an energy-efficient car• World’s first hybrid sports car in SA• Solar water heating plant opensMotor industry to gather speedShamin ChibbaThis Christmas, it is not the Star of Bethlehem that will shine brightest but the three-armed star of the Mercedes-Benz logo that would guide South Africans to prosperity.Parent company Daimler AG confirmed on 7 December that it will invest R2-billion (US$290.4-million) into the Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) plant in East London for production of the next-generation C-Class series.The plant will be one of four manufacturing locations in the world producing the popular model. The other three production facilities are based in Germany, China and the US.According to MBSA spokesperson Annelise van der Laan, the investment will create more jobs. “We expect about 1 500 to 2 000 new job opportunities, mainly at the supplier level,” she said.“The investment is for preparation and installation of new equipment, the latest manufacturing technology, training and skills development. Further investment at supplier level is expected,” said Van der Laan.MBSA are said to be exporting the cars to markets in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.Excellent production qualityDaimler AG board of management member Wolfgang Bernhard said MBSA East London was chosen for its superior production quality and its recognition as one of the best plants in the industry.“MBSA has managed to provide us with a business and production plan that is competitive globally. Hence, our decision to build the next-generation of our C-Class at the East London plant is a logical step.”Hansgeorg Niefer, MBSA’s CEO, expressed his delight that the facility was selected to continue building this particular range, which it has done since the mid-1990s.“Just recently we exported the 100 000th C-Class built in East London. In the first quarter of next year we should reach the half-million mark of C-Class vehicles produced locally since 1994, the model’s start of production in South Africa.”New model, new technologyNiefer said more than a dozen new technologies would be brought to South Africa for the car and production processes.“MBSA will localise more than 40% of the components for this new vehicle. We expect to see more investors and new suppliers, all with the latest technologies, coming to the country.”Niefer added that, depending on market demand, the plant has the capacity to add a third shift which would allow it to run 24 hours per working day.He emphasised that the investment into the East London plant is one of many made in the last 10 years – a total of over R5-billion ($726-million).Van der Laan was mum on the details regarding the range’s design and features. “As the model is only due for release in 2014, details on design, styling, special features, new technology and pricing will not be made available due to the competitive nature of the auto industry,” she said.The R2-billion investment would create as much as 2 000 jobs in East London.