All about trust for Graeme Smith and his Proteas

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Dec 20, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG – Trust has been a major problem for Cricket South Africa over the last two years.

The players have completely lost trust in CSA’s administrators, so has the public and more lately sponsors. Cricket SA’s Board of directors seemed determined to stay on, completely ignoring the fact that no one trusts them anymore.

Trust is a critical part of why Graeme Smith eventually decided he would take the job of interim Director of Cricket.

He couldn’t trust Thabang Moroe, he made that one of the conditions for taking the role.

But he doesn’t trust the remaining members of the Board as well, which is part of the reason he’s only doing the job for three months.

Trust is what Smith has utilised in appointing the coaching staff for the Proteas - in particular head coach Mark Boucher.

Smith can trust Boucher, he knows he’s an honest and forthright individual and someone who will quickly re-establish that competitive edge that was missing in India among the Proteas players.

Boucher, remember was one of the few voices among current players or coaches to speak up pointing out how South African cricket got itself in a “pretty bad state,” with the fallout between the players union and CSA and the enormous debt CSA has been struggling to deal with.

It is important to keep that sort of thing in mind at the moment. The jokes about “old boys clubs,” or “getting the band back together,” to prepare the Proteas, are funny but only for a little bit.

As interim chief executive Jacques Faul points out, South African cricket is in crisis at the moment and even the high profile tour by England, can’t mask that.

Smith, Boucher, Enoch Nkwe, Jacques Kallis and Charl Langeveldt have inherited this mess, created by Chris Nenzani and the other ‘suits’ and somehow they have to work out - with virtually no time at their disposal - how to best prepare the South African team for a four-match Test series against England.

Jacques Faul points out that South African cricket is in crisis at the moment and even the high profile tour by England, can’t mask that. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Their job isn’t about any kind of long-term planning either, it’s about the here and now. That is the context in which Smith’s decisions should be seen - it’s not jobs for pals or the old boys club, it’s about what works best for the Proteas now.

By the time the first ball is bowled at SuperSport Park next Thursday, the public may have largely forgotten that South African cricket is in a mess. It will be up to Faf du Plessis and Co. to provide the distraction and it will be up to Boucher and that hastily put together coaching staff to make sure a team - that has lost its last five Tests remember - is ready.

Smith is trusting them to do that, and in so doing maybe setting an example for all in Cricket South Africa to follow.



The Star

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