Enoch Nkwe’s appointment as the Proteas’ interim team director shouldn’t be celebrated.
In fact, what Cricket South Africa (CSA) is doing is spitting in the face of the transformation they’ve eagerly but reasonably measuredly (to date) embraced in the past few years.
What the embattled governing body has done with this decision is toying with a national team brand that’s already on wobbly ground following a host of retirements and potentially throwing a hugely promising but inexperienced coach to the wolves.
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After all, Nkwe has only coached at franchise level for one season and India is a country where even the most accomplished touring sides have failed miserably in recent times.
But the real tragedy is how this reflects on CSA’s true commitment to meaningful transformation.
We all know that South African sport in general still has a long way to towards true representivity.
However, South African cricket has reached a stage where they can actually start pulling rank in appointing black coaches.
What does Nkwe’s elevation say about the potential candidacy of Malibongwe Maketa?
He’s been involved in franchise coaching since 2011, when he became Matthew Maynard’s assistant at the Titans,
In February 2015, he became the Warriors’ head coach, achieved much with a limited player base and obtained a Level Four coaching certificate – the highest qualification in the country.
And here’s the kicker (if you’ve been living under a rock the last two years): He was Ottis Gibson’s assistant coach at national level.
You have to ask the question what’s going on here?
Didn’t Maketa want the position?
Has he been disadvantaged because he was a member of the national coaching staff that was axed last week?
It’s true that Nkwe – with three domestic titles (one as the Jozi Stars MSL mentor) – has achieved more tangible success than Maketa.
Yet Geoff Toyana, who’s been in the system for almost a decade, also won two domestic titles like Nkwe in his first season as Lions coach back in 2013.
In all, he won four titles.
Surely if local cricket has reached a stage where there’s a pool of black coaches to choose from, then experience needs to start counting?
For goodness’ sake, this is still the national team we’re talking about.
Instead, CSA and Thabang Moroe, its chief executive, in particular is increasingly opening themselves to criticism of authoritarian policies and provincialism.
Moroe is a former chairman of the Central Gauteng Lions.
Nkwe was head coach of Gauteng’s semi-professional outfit for three years until he was appointed as Lions mentor.
And now, a TimesLIVE report this week claimed CSA want to change their constitution in order to allow for current president Chris Nenzani to extend his tenure for a year in order to groom Jack Madiseng as successor.
Who is Madiseng? Well, he’s the current president of, you guessed it, the Central Gauteng Lions.
It’s not difficult to put one and two together here.
I’m pretty sure this whole saga isn’t quite what is meant by inclusiveness.