South Africa’s convener of selectors should be a full-time job and the coach and captain of the Proteas should have a major say in team selections, says Graeme Pollock.
The current selection panel, led by Andrew Hudson, are all out of contract at the end of May and Hudson has already confirmed that he will not stand for re-election.
The rest of the panel – Shafiek Abrahams, Hussein Manack and Linda Zondi – are not all expected to vacate their positions and could again be nominated by the provincial CEOs and presidents. The deadline for nominations for the new selection panel closed on 30 April.
There will be input from the cricket committee and the chief executive and the final approval rests with the CSA board. Selectors are required to be independent while the convener is appointed by the board from the nominations.
The current panel’s last job will be to name a Proteas squad for the tour to Bangladesh in July.
Pollock believes the position of convener of selectors should be a full-time one. Hudson juggled his selection duties with his day job at FNB.
‘If you want to do the job properly it has to be your main priority, said Pollock, who was a selector 20 years ago.
Pollock said that although the political landscape made it difficult, the coach and captain of the team should have the final say on who plays.
Ashwell Prince has been mentioned as a possible candidate for converner and Pollock thinks it’s a pretty good choice. Prince has worked as a studio pundit for SuperSport and still plays county cricket for Lancashire in England.
Pollock reckons Abrahams, who has served on the panel for years, is also a viable candidate.
‘Shafiek could be a possible candidate. He is solid and consistent and will know what the job entails and the pressures that come with it.’
However, Abrahams might not meet CSA’s criteria for the job.
SACricketmag.com asked CSA’s executive consultant Michael Owen-Smith to clarify what criteria candidates have to meet in order to be considered for the position of convener of selectors.
‘All our previous conveners have played cricket at the highest level available to them,’ said Owen-Smith.
‘In the case of Haroon Lorgat and Rushdi Magiet they were denied that opportunity but were good enough to have played international cricket. Peter van der Merwe, Peter Pollock, Omar Henry, Mike Procter and Andrew Hudson all played for South Africa.
‘From that you can accept that a high level of cricket playing experience is essential. Further to that the provinces are expected to nominate suitable candidates and that obviously means cricket expertise. The board are not going to consider anybody who does not match up to fairly stringent standards.’
No-one, including Prince, has publicly announced their interest in the position, but it is likely that CSA will be looking to appoint a black candidate who will take their transformation goals seriously.
Owen-Smith confirmed the most likely date for the naming of the new selection panel, including convener, is on June 2 when the board, which has to approve the appointments, meets. The Proteas management team, including coaches, is likely to be approved at the same time.
By Kobus Pretorius