JOHANNESBURG – Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith, Cricket SA’s head of Pathways Corrie van Zyl and former national selector Hussein Manack were interviewed for the Director of Cricket post at Cricket South Africa by a five person panel late last week.
The interviews occurred just over a week after applications for the position closed as Cricket SA look to speedily fill a crucial position that will have a massive influence over the direction the sport will take in South Africa.
Smith’s name has been doing the rounds for weeks, with many viewing him as the ideal candidate, given his extensive international career which included arguably the most successful period in South African cricket history on the field between 2008 and 2014. As Proteas captain, Smith, guided the side to series wins in England and Australia twice in that period, while he also oversaw drawn series’s in India on two occasions in that spell as well.
Van Zyl’s interview comes at a strange time given that he was one of three senior officials suspended two weeks ago over the apparent mishandling of the players’ image rights for last year’s Mzansi Super League. Van Zyl, who had been the interim Director of Cricket following the World Cup, was suspended along with Chief Operating Officer Nassei Appiah and the Head of Sales and Sponsorship, Clive Eksteen. Cricket SA’s most recent comment about their suspension – besides claiming the organisation hadn’t named them as the officials who were suspended – was that the matter was still under investigation.
What that investigation has uncovered is as yet unknown, although the fact that Van Zyl was interviewed for the Director position would suggest he’s been cleared.
Manack had an extensive playing career in the old SA Cricket Board era, with unification in the sport only coming towards the end of his playing days. Nevertheless he has served as an administrator at Gauteng Cricket and was on the national selection panel for six years up to this year’s World Cup.
The interview panel was made up of four members of Cricket SA’s Board of Directors; Jack Madiseng, Shirley Zinn, Tebogo Siko, Dawn Makhobo, with chief executive, Thabang Moroe serving as the fifth member.
The appointment of a Director of Cricket is extremely urgent for CSA as that person will be responsible for overseeing the appointment of the Proteas head Coach/Team Director for the upcoming series against England.
Over the longer term the Director of Cricket will also be responsible for formulating strategy around a style of play for all national teams, and a plan for the 2023 World Cup.
The interviews took place less than a week after Cricket SA held a ‘bosberaad’ at the prestigious Zimbali resort in KwaZulu Natal. That getaway was attended by CSA staff, administrators, some members of the Board and the national players.