The job of Highveld Strikers coach is one of the most unenviable, yet coveted, domestic cricket jobs, and will this season go to a "Cape Flats boykie".
The Gauteng Cricket Board (GCB) announced on Wednesday that former Western Province Cricket Board stalwart, Shukri Conrad, is to be the senior team's coach at the Bullring this season, replacing New Zealander Mark O'Donnell.
The 35-year-old Conrad has been with the GCB for the past three seasons as B team coach, but has now been tasked with turning around the fortunes of the country's biggest cricket union.
The assistant coach of the South African under-19 team, Lawrence Mahatlane, and Mean Machine legend Jimmy Cook will be in charge of the B team, while Wim Jansen is to coach the under-19 side.
A talented all-rounder in his playing days, Conrad represented SA Schools in 1984 along with Daryll Cullinan and Clive Eksteen - players who, interestingly enough, he will be coaching this season.
"I haven't quite realised the enormity of the job at hand yet," Conrad said on Wednesday.
"I am a little Cape Town boykie who remembers well the days of the Mean Machine and now I find myself coaching here.
"It's a tremendous challenge and I am looking forward to it. We are still the biggest union in the country and the headquarters of South African cricket. Much like the Springboks rely on a strong Western Province, so South African cricket is waiting for Gauteng cricket to turn the corner," said Conrad, who has been assisting Hylton Ackerman with the South African A team.
The GCB's director of cricket, Alan Kourie, said no other contenders were considered for the senior coaching job, as in Conrad the union felt they had the right man for the job.
"There was a lot of speculation about the position, but we found we didn't need to go outside our union, but found a man who is more than capable right here. Shukri's appointment is in line with what we want to achieve here at Gauteng," said Kourie.
Conrad's job is a tough one, as after winning the first-class competition just three years ago, the Strikers have for the last two seasons been relegated to campaigning in the Shield Section.
Kourie said no overseas players were being considered, but players from other provincial unions may be brought in to bolster the Strikers.