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CSA accepts Nkwe’s resignation

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Mark Boucher coach of the Proteas with former assistant coach Enoch Nkwe. Picture: Christiaan Kotze, BackpagePix

After attempting to intervene, Cricket South Africa have finally accepted Enoch Nkwe’s resignation as Proteas assistant coach.

JOHANNESBURG – Enoch Nkwe’s decision to step down as the Proteas men’s team’s assistant coach was finally accepted following a meeting of Cricket South Africa’s Board of Directors on Tuesday night.

Nkwe had given notice of his intention to resign at the weekend, but the Board initially refused, with its chairman, Lawson Naidoo and acting CEO, Pholetsi Moseki engaging in meetings with Nkwe on Monday. Those meetings proved futile.

In a statement released following Tuesday night’s Board meeting, CSA outlined how “every effort was made to retain (Nkwe’s) services.”

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“Enoch has decided to focus on personal growth and professional development,” the statement continued.

Most worryingly, Nkwe had also outlined his dissatisfaction with “the functioning and culture” of the Proteas environment. Those issues, CSA said, would be investigated and addressed.

“It is deeply disappointing to lose someone of Enoch’s calibre at this time, but we fully understand and respect his decision,” said CSA’s chairman, Lawson Naidoo.

“We are comforted by the fact that he remains committed to SA cricket, and hope that he will be back serving the game that we all love. He has been and continues to be an inspiration to young cricketers and coaches.”

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Nkwe’s resignation casts a further dark cloud over South African cricket, which has been rocked by the revelations of racism heard at the Social Justice and Nation Building hearings.

Nkwe, an all-rounder in his playing days, was made head coach of the Lions franchise team in 2018 after a few years working in the Netherlands and in the 2018/19 season helped the Lions win two trophies; the Four-Day Series and the domestic T20 competition, while he was also head coach of the Jozi Stars franchise that won the inaugural Mzansi Super League competition that season.

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Following the sacking of Ottis Gibson after the 2019 World Cup, Nkwe was made interim team director, a newly created position as part of a new management structure for the Proteas. His first task was a tour to India in October 2019, where the side drew a T20 series with the hosts, but were then subsequently thumped by India in a three match Test series.

The upheaval in Cricket SA that followed, saw the national team’s management structure return to a more conventional one, with Nkwe, made the assistant and Boucher the head coach.

That decision, made by CSA’s then newly installed Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, caused plenty of controversy, particularly when some of the consultants used by the national team at the time were all white males.

Cricket SA’s Board mandated Acting CEO, Pholetsi Moseki to oversee a process to urgently find a replacement for Nkwe ahead of the T20 World Cup.

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