’I still have unfinished business with WP,’ says new coach Salieg Nackerdien
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Salieg Nackerdien believes he has “unfinished business” at Newlands after being unveiled as the new Western Province coach on Tuesday.
Nackerdien, who succeeds Ashwell Prince after the former Proteas batsman joined the Bangladesh coaching staff as their batting consultant, is no stranger to the home dressing room.
The 58-year-old enjoyed a successful spell from 2009-16 as the WP semi-pro coach in the previous franchise era. Not only did he lead WP to the 3-Day and 1-Day Cup “double” in 2010-11 season, but he also guided many of the young players in the region as they made the transition from schoolboy to franchise cricketers.
Proteas Kyle Verreynne, George Linde and Zubayr Hamza are just a few of his prodigies that now occupy senior roles within the senior WP set-up.
There are many who felt that Nackerdien was unlucky not to succeed Richard Pybus almost a decade ago as Cape Cobras coach, but Nackerdien did not rest on his laurels.
He went off to the Proteas Women’s team, playing a major role in their development as assistant to head coach Hilton Moreeng, before joining up with his hometown team, the Paarl Rocks, where he was the batting consultant for the past six months.
“It was quite emotional (leaving Boland). I thought it was where I was going to finish off my coaching career,” Nackerdien told IOL Sport.
“But there is still unfinished business at WP. To be head of a team again in first-class cricket was one of my goals. It is nice to come back to Newlands. There are still a couple of guys that have been with me since 2009. It’s almost full circle.”
The Cobras endured a few tough seasons prior to the close of the franchise era in terms of winning silverware, although they continued to produce top-quality players.
Under the guise of WP in the new provincial competition there have already been some positive signs at last weekend’s opening round of the CSA T20 Knockout Challenge.
Province, under assistant coach Faiek Davids, progressed to the knockout stages after victories over the Lions and Northern Cape Heat.
Nackerdien was impressed with the talent on display, and particularly the return to form of Hamza, but believes there’s still lots of hard work ahead.
“There are a lot of positives, but also things we can improve on. Just glad to see Zuby in that form. Looking forward to guiding the youngsters in the environment, and keep working.
“I hope to bring a level of calmness in the changeroom, calmness under pressure and an environment where they really enjoy their work.”