Nobody really stands out when it comes to picking a replacement for Allan Donald as South Africa’s next bowling coach.
First of all, I believe the bowling coach is a very important role.
When you look at the statistics, Makhaya Ntini is the main guy. He does have a fractured relationship with Cricket South Africa after he criticised them in the past regarding quotas. I think respect for him has diminished after what he said in his book after he retired.
Charl Langeveldt is the other option, while guys like Fanie de Villiers and Pat Symcox are not realistic candidates. Both have criticised CSA in the past and have other business interests. They also haven’t played international cricket for a long time.
I think CSA will look for a local guy to fill the role. It will have to be someone who knows the game and is respected by the players. He will also need to have a knowledge of bowling at the highest level.
I would go for Langeveldt because I think he would slot into the job easier than someone like Ntini.
We don’t know how much longer Dale Steyn is going to play international cricket, but he could be an option in a year or two after he hangs up his boots to take over from someone like Langeveldt.
Looking at the debacle around political interference in team selections that has emerged after the World Cup, something that worries me is that there is currently not enough concern for the game of cricket in South Africa.
We just saw over the weekend Cricket South Africa denying again that there was any political interference in team selections at the World Cup.
It has been an issue ever since I was a national selector 20 years go. Every team had to get clearance from the top back then, as is currently also the case. There is no doubt that there was pressure to include four players of colour for the semi-final against New Zealand.
When the selectors get ordered to change the team, there is nothing they can do about it. It’s a losing battle. They knew they had to do it because there is no way they can win that battle.
Winning isn’t everything anymore. It has taken a back seat to making sure a certain ‘guideline’ is met when selecting a team.
Sometimes the selectors get away with it when South Africa win, but as soon as they start losing the pressure mounts. After 21 years of quotas, which hasn’t really worked, the aim should be to choose the team on merit to ensure that South Africa are among the top three teams in the world.
I believe Mike Horn was put under pressure to make a statement that said he was quoted out of context. My fear is that politicians are trying to interfere more and more. It was a World Cup semi-final. You have got to play your best team to try and get to the final.
The selectors are under huge pressure to make sure they get the numbers right. I believe the situation is only going to get worse over the next five to 10 years.
It has a big psychological affect on a player when he knows he’s not there on merit. It also affects the rest of the team because they feel they have to carry the player.