“Whoever is coach that’s who you work with and you make sure you find a way as best you can to get along”
The Mzansi Super League may have the players’ attention for now, but at the back of everyone’s mind is the upcoming tour to South Africa by England – one of the marquee events on the calendar.
The fact that there is so much instability within South African cricket circles is cause for grave concern. Cricket SA only conducted interviews last week for the very powerful Director of Cricket position, about six weeks before the first ball is bowled in the opening Test.
That person will have to work quickly to either appoint a new head coach/team director for the national men’s side or perhaps retain Enoch Nkwe, who was made interim Team Director in India recently.
Former national selector Hussein Manack, former Proteas captain Graeme Smith and CSA’s current Head of Pathways, Corrie van Zyl were all interviewed by a five-person panel, made up of members of Cricket SA’s Board of Directors and the organisation’s chief executive Thabang Moroe.
The country’s players are watching the process closely, all of them desperate to see some sign of direction and stability for the national team.
“Whoever is coach that’s who you work with and you make sure you find a way as best you can to get along,” said Lungisani Ngidi.
“As a player that’s not something you have control over.”
There won’t be a lot of time for the Proteas to prepare for the Test series which starts at SuperSport Park on Boxing Day, with the second Test taking place at Newlands from January 3.
At the moment, Cricket SA is wrapping up the process of appointing the Director of Cricket, something they will have to do by next week, while at the same time they are also working through candidates for the position of convenor of selectors.
A panel of selectors also still needs to be appointed.
The role of head coach/team director will be absolutely crucial of course, but does the new Director of Cricket appoint someone in the short term or make a fulltime and long-term appointment?
Ngidi (pictured), who made his Test debut last year and has now worked under two different coaches with the Proteas, said it would be ideal to have a long term appointment.
“It is nice to work with a coach for a long period of time; for example, (Mark) Boucher and myself have worked together since I played for the Proteas, and I feel he is one of the guys, that understands me as a player,” said Ngidi. “He may not be a bowling coach but he knows what gets me ticking mentally.”
Meanwhile, Ngidi will focus his attention on the MSL, with his side the Tshwane Spartans set to face the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at SuperSport Park today (5.30pm start).