Former and current leading cricket administrators lead the tributes for retiring Western Province Cricket Association CEO Nabeal Dien, as he ends his role as a cricket administrator with the province which has been so close to his heart for 22 years.
Dien has served in virtually every capacity for WP Cricket – from youth, development, club, women, stadium, marketing and human resources – to the highest elite levels of professionalism.
Former CEO of South African Cricket Dr Ali Bacher recalls how it all started for Dien:
‘When I first met him in the 1990s, he was involved in development cricket in the Western Cape; he was an outstanding administrator in that field. I continued to have some interaction with him throughout the following years and in particular when he became CEO of Western Province Cricket. He is never one to say no if you asked him for assistance and without many knowing, we have interacted on some projects which have benefited development cricket in recent times. He has been an astounding administrator and I believe he will be sorely missed in the Western Cape and I truly hope that he is not permanently lost to cricket in South Africa.’
Arnold Bloch, former president of Western Province Cricket, was full of praise for Dien’s commitment to the game of cricket and looks back on his rise through the amateur ranks to the top job at Newlands:
‘If you look back at Nabeal’s career, he has served in a number of capacities. He was introduced to us as our youth chairperson – we didn’t know who he was, but he grew into that position and there was so much respect for him, it was a natural progression as he became the father of WP youth cricket. His commitment and passion was quite amazing and as the years went by, he became more involved in all facets of WP Cricket.
‘When the game split into professional and amateur cricket, he continued to serve with distinction as the head of amateur cricket. His portfolios have overlapped the last few years, but he has always served the game for the benefit of WP and South African cricket. He has always had a major passion for club cricket. It was a great pleasure to have served with someone as him and I truly believe that he ends his tenure as an Icon. We wish him luck.’
Former WPCA president and current vice-president of Cricket South Africa Beresford Williams also paid tribute to his fellow administrator:
‘Nabeal was indeed a rock during his time at WPCA and Western Cape Cricket. He always managed to stay calm and reasonable and his ability to never be flustered when dealing with complexities within his realm of responsibility, can only be admired. He would always seek to find resolution and foster relationships to grow the organisation.’
Dr Jacques Faul, interim chief executive officer at Cricket South Africa, conveyed his gratitude to one of the longest-serving administrators around:
‘On behalf of the entire CSA family, I sincerely want to thank Mr Nabeal Dien for his dedication and commitment towards the sport of cricket. His work output and his loyalty to the game over the last two decades has been truly commendable and we all appreciate his immense contribution. Throughout his tenure at WPCA, he has stood out as one of the true administrative captains for the sport and one who has never wavered in his commitment to excellence. For us this is a trait that we will remember him by. I want to take this opportunity to wish Nabeal everything of the very best in his plans and a restful time ahead, full of enjoyment.’
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