No regrets or hard feelings from Hudson

2015-04-24 00:00

ANDREW Hudson’s decision to end his five-year term of office as Cricket South Africa’s convenor of selectors at the end of June has been done for personal reasons.

In light of bowling coach Allan Donald stepping down last week and now Hudson throwing his chips into the pile, speculation has been rife that the decisions were made in relation to the “phantom” SMS scandal that rocked the Proteas’ camp on the eve of their semi-final clash against New Zealand at last month’s World Cup.

“This is not the case at all,” Hudson told The Witness yesterday. “The decision has been made to allow me more time to focus on my career and family, the important issues in life. Remember, in my whole term of office, I have had to hold down a full-time job in the banking world.”

In making himself unavailable for re-election, Hudson looked back on five years he saw as a privilege, working with the team, coaches and players.

“It’s a time-consuming job and stepping down definitely allows more free time for me,” he said. “There is plenty of travelling involved plus the mental side is tough and tiring. Having said that, the positives were huge and it’s an awesome period in my life I will always remember.”

As convenor of selectors, Hudson said he took pride in being balanced and true to himself and South African cricket. “I have no bitterness or regrets and after five years, I think it’s time to pass the baton and start a new chapter,” he said.

During his term of office, Hudson had the satisfaction of seeing the Test team earn the ICC’s number one ranking in what he termed, “a remarkable period of Test domination that started under Gary Kirsten when he was coach and has continued with current coach Russell Domingo.”

Winning Test series against England and Australia in their own backyards were major highlights as was watching the team develop under the leadership of Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla.

Although no ICC trophy came his way, Hudson was encouraged by the effort from the Proteas at the recent World Cup, despite that semi-final loss.

“All credit must go to One-Day team captain AB de Villiers and Russell for what was achieved. It took months, seasons of planning strategy, getting the right mix of players and getting everything in place,” said Hudson. “That semi was a match of what-ifs but it proved a point — that we can challenge, compete and be respected on the world cricket stage.”

In stepping down from his position, Hudson remains confident in the future of the game and the national team. During his time in office, he always met the quota boundaries, ensuring there was the right mix regarding players of colour in the various national teams.

“It was an amazing journey and so encouraging to see the team develop, set a goal and pursue that standard, often achieving what was aspired to. The Test team bear testimony to that and Russell has done well to keep that momentum alive and moving forward,” said Hudson.

“He can take the team far and from a cricketing perspective, he has the structures and management in place to ensure the Proteas maintain their high performance levels.”

Hudson and his selection panel’s final task will be selecting the Protea Test, ODI and T20 teams to tour Bangladesh in July.

All affiliates have until April 30 to submit nominations for the new selection panel to Cricket South Africa for the election of an entire new board which will be in office for two years.

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