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Faf excited about ‘new start’

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“Obviously a lot has happened but now it’s a new start”

Jacques Faul, interim CEO addresses media during the CSA Press Conference at the Inter-Continental Hotel at the OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg on 07 December 2019. Picture: ©BackpagePix

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis believes South African cricket is ready for a “new start” under the leadership of Jacques Faul and is looking forward to the focus returning to the cricket.

It has been a tumultuous past couple of months for Cricket SA with everything coming to a head this past weekend when Thabang Moroe was suspended as chief executive and replaced with Faul (pictured) on an interim basis.

But with the England Test series starting in 16 days’ time on Boxing Day at Centurion’s SuperSport Park, Du Plessis is calling on the administrators to get on with the job of running the game in the country and ensuring the Proteas have everything at their disposal to be successful.

“Obviously a lot has happened but now it’s a new start,” du Plessis said after leading the Paarl Rocks to a home Mzansi Super League final on Sunday.

“There’s not much time before the English series so now it’s about putting our focus back on to the team, making sure that the Test team gets all the things that are required for us to be successful.

“It’s been a little bit on pause the last two or three weeks which is already too late, so we need to make sure in the next week things will start unfolding to make sure the Test team gets the most attention.”

There has been great concern that the Proteas may nosedive even further – they have lost five consecutive Tests – due to the fact that their coach Enoch Nkwe was only appointed on an interim basis for the India tour, while there is still no selection panel or Director of Cricket.

The latter is at least expected to be filled this week with the appointment of former Proteas captain Graeme Smith.

Du Plessis stated that even if he needs to be a shield between the administrators and the Proteas team, he is prepared to do it in order to get the Test side functioning again.

“The players have got absolutely nothing to do with what’s happening behind the scenes. It’s important to separate that from a player point of view and if it needs me to be dealing with some of these things, then that’s OK,” he said.

“It’s about getting focus on what’s really important now which is a Test series against England. As I said before, it’s already a little bit 99 [last-minute] and things haven’t happened as they should have but now we can start getting things on the right track.

“There’s too much negative stuff that’s happened over the last four or five weeks and our cricket is too strong to have so many issues all the time. We are too proud a cricketing nation to be talking about this stuff all the time.

“The attention needs to be on the cricket and making sure we will build ourselves as a team and ourselves as an organisation to be great again.”

Equally, Du Plessis believes Faul has the credentials to get Cricket SA back on track having worked with him during his long association with the Titans. “Jacques is obviously a very experienced CEO, a doctor, so I am sure he is pretty clever,” Du Plessis said.