Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Tuesday were neither able to confirm or deny reports that Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe has been approached to be the Proteas’ interim team director for next month’s tour to India.
The newly created position – which combines the role of head coach with certain responsibilities of a team manager – was announced as part of major restructuring of the national coaching staff last weekend.
“I can’t confirm that as I haven’t had a chance yet to sit down with (acting director of cricket) Corrie van Zyl,” said Thabang Moroe, CSA’s chief executive.
“That information is supposed to come to me either today or tomorrow. I can’t confirm that as yet.”
The 36-year-old Nkwe is undoubtedly a rising star in South African cricket’s coaching circles, having won two trophies in his first season with the franchise as well guiding the Jozi Stars to the inaugural Mzansi Super League title.
He also won the coach of the year award at the CSA Awards last weekend.
Yet there’s a significant risk to making such an appointment, specifically in terms of Nkwe’s own development.
South Africa’s trip to the Sub-Continent, where they’ll play three Tests against Virat Kohli’s men, is already a daunting assignment without an inexperienced top-flight coach.
Should Nkwe be appointed, he will have the small cushion of having a few members of the technical staff under sacked head coach Ottis Gibson.
Moroe and Van Zyl both said one-on-one interactions have been conducted with those individuals.
Meanwhile, Van Zyl provided some much-needed clarity on the leadership of Faf du Plessis.
“Faf will be the captain of the Test team,” he said.
“Then we will talk about the white ball strategy to 2023 and how that will affect decision making. We need a strategy to 2023 (the next World Cup), so in terms of appointing the captain we will look at how we approach that.”