It’s time Cricket South Africa get their house in order

2011-05-11 00:00

IT’S time for Cricket South Africa (CSA) to do some much-needed housekeeping as we look ahead to an exciting summer of cricket.

Without a coach or one-day international captain and with internal conflicts keeping CSA in the headlines, there is much for Gerald Majola and his executives to think about.

Final interviews to fill the vacant Proteas coaching post will be conducted shortly, with the announcement of the successful applicant expected in June. CSA have narrowed down their list of coaching candidates to four, with four other names no longer in the running. Duncan Fletcher has replaced Gary Kirsten as Indian coach in a move which sees the master taking over from the pupil, while Andy Flower has extended his contract as English team director.

New Zealander Stephen Flemming and Australian Tom Moody have withdrawn their applications. This leaves Gary Kirsten, Richard Pybus, Vincent Barnes and Dave Nosworthy as possible replacements for Corrie van Zyl.

Gary Kirsten is no doubt the front-runner, with impressive international coaching credentials that speak for themselves and a clear understanding of the South African cricket system. It remains to be seen whether Kirsten really wants the position, though, and if he does, if CSA will agree to his terms and conditions.

Cape Cobras coach Pybus has a good track record. He has had successful stints with the Titans and Border and has also had international coaching exposure with short tenures in Pakistan.

As assistant Proteas coach for the past seven years, Vinnie Barnes knows the ropes better than anyone and will feel unlucky if he is overlooked yet again.

Dave Nosworthy is another contender. Currently coaching the Lions, Nosworthy has enjoyed success with the Titans and has coached domestic cricket in New Zealand.

Cricket South Africa also need to decide on the next Proteas ODI captain.

England have just announced the appointment of three separate captains for each format. Andrew Strauss will be Test captain, Alistair Cook will look after the one-day international side and Stuart Broad will lead the 20/20 team.

It may work for England, but in my opinion the strength of an international team comes from its core players. Tampering with team structures often unsettles players and I feel the Proteas need continuity and stability.

Take a look at Team India, who resemble a big family. They have clearly benefited from keeping the backbone of their squad intact from one version of the game to the next.

Internal disputes are causing CSA’s biggest headaches. The high court judgement ordering the reinstatement of president Mtutuzeli Nyoka is just one of them. CSA has also agreed to an external, forensic audit of its finances — in particular bonuses paid to CSA staff after the hosting of the IPL and Champions Trophy in 2009.

CSA had earlier conducted its own internal audit under vice-president A.K. Khan, in which no irregularities were found. In this investigation Gerald Majola came away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist for failing to declare CSA’s bonuses to its remuneration committee.

It’s vital for the Proteas that CSA communicates integrity and a clear way forward.

Once the hype of the IPL is over, the eyes of the media will be on Cricket South Africa — it’s about time they got its house in order.

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