Cricket South Africa is on the brink of appointing a first full-time director of cricket and it needs to do whatever it takes to make sure that former Proteas captain Graeme Smith takes over, writes PHILASANDE SIXABA.
Manack was a selector for the Proteas between 2012 and 2019 and is also a renowned cricket commentator on both SABC radio and television. Van Zyl, on the other hand, has been CSA’s general manager since 2009 which also included a caretaker coach stint with the Proteas during the 2011 World Cup.
While Manack and Van Zyl have extensive experience and knowledge of how the CSA board operates, they’ve been in the system for a while and one may argue that their ideas on how to grow the game in the country may be a little outdated.
Now is the time for a fresh look and appointing Smith could give CSA that much-needed fresh outlook in the midst of what is and will still be a rocky and uncertain period in South African cricket.
CSA’s hurdle may well be its finances after a projected R654-million loss in the next four-year cycle. Despite that financial hurdle, the board must do whatever it takes to get Smith appointed as the new director of cricket.
Much like the England and Wales Cricket Board – understandably in a far better financial position – did in bringing former captain Andrew Strauss as director of cricket. It was under his leadership that solid foundations paved the way for their successful World Cup campaign on home soil.
South Africa is yearning for that kind of success and for years they have missed the trick by a lack of sufficient planning and preparation. Smith can help focus and redirect the Proteas’ misfortunes at global events and should be given the opportunity to bring in those he believes will add value to the cause of South African cricket.
It’s a no-brainer for CSA to bring Smith in but it will be a question of are they brave enough to appoint Smith, who is known to be outspoken and his own man.
It’s either that or go with more of the same by appointing either Manack or Van Zyl.