Former Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe has told the Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) hearings that CSA is to blame for stifling the careers of coaches Geoffrey Toyana and Paul Adams.
Both former franchise coaches were allegedly touted to take over as head coach (in some other capacity) of the Proteas in 2017 but missed out in favour of West Indian Ottis Gibson. Moroe explained why he thought this.
“It is a testament to how we, as administrators, have behaved over the years. This is how people of colour have kept missing opportunities that could have been afforded to them by us. We, as CSA, literally killed the careers of these two gentlemen. These are the inequalities that are glaringly there if you look at the landscape of South African cricket.”
Before taking over as CEO, Moroe served as CSA vice-president and he explained how the board agreed that after Russell Domingo (South Africa’s first head coach of colour), the Proteas should have another head coach of colour with Toyana and Adams on the list of candidates.
“When Russell’s tenure ended, CSA’s cricket committee identified two coaches we would need to look at to replace Russell as the coach of the national team. Those were Geoffrey Toyana and Paul Adams. They were the two most successful coaches in the country. It was a no-brainer that either both would be hired, with one as an assistant, or one would definitely be made coach. At board level, we discussed the cricket committee’s paper and the one thing the board agreed on was that we would hire a black coach.”
Moroe was part of an ad hoc committee which had a mandate to shortlist and interview potential candidates and make a recommendation for the head coach appointment.
“During that period, even at board level, we were talking about how Geoffrey Toyana was head and shoulders above other coaches, purely because of his performances. When the chairperson of the ad hoc committee announced that they preferred Ottis Gibson to be the coach, it came as a surprise to us because we were talking about the short period the coach would have before the next World Cup and how we wanted a coach that was familiar with all our players in the system, with the South African environment and somebody who was going to be able to hit the ground running. Choosing somebody who didn’t even live in this country came as a surprise given all these things we had listed as concerns.”
Toyana was the first black African coach in the franchise system and won four trophies in four seasons with the Lions. Moroe explained again why Toyana was apparently overlooked.
“Some board members, including myself, asked where Geoffrey Toyana’s shortcomings were because we were all sure Geoffrey would be the coach. The chairperson of the ad hoc committee then told us they were not happy with how he articulated himself and they were not happy with his presentation skills. That was concerning feedback because we were not hiring him to do presentations or public speaking. We wanted somebody who knew how to coach the crop of players we had at the time and somebody who could give us good results. Although we were going through the formal process, we all felt Geoffrey was the guy, only to be told he would not be the guy.”