JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa will not reveal who will select the South African team for the Test series against England.
Besides interim head coach, Enoch Nkwe, it is not known who will pick the Proteas squad for that highly anticipated four-match series which starts on Boxing Day at SuperSport Park - in less than a month’s time.
On Wednesday, Cricket South Africa’s Head of Media and Communications, Thamie Mthembu, said a “technical team,” would select the squad for the England series, but besides Nkwe’s name, he refused to identify any other members of the “technical team.”
“There is a team that is responsible for the selection of players and a team that is responsible for ensuring that, come the date of the English tour or any other tour, there are players who’ve been selected. If you want us to go on a naming exercise, I’m afraid I will not engage in that.
There are people (within Cricket SA) who have stepped up,” said Mthembu.
As it stands there is no national panel of selectors who will pick the team for that England series, one of the most high profile events on the calendar.
In addition, Cricket SA keep kicking the appointment of a Director of Cricket down the road.
An appointment for that critical position was expected at the end of last month, then - according to Cricket SA’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe - it was to be announced last week but as of Wednesday afternoon, no further clarity was forthcoming about what the process to appointment a Director would be.
“The process of selecting the Director of Cricket is on-going, the process is open and when that process is finalised, South Africans and cricket fans will be made aware who this person is,” said Mthembu.
In the meantime, Mthembu said there was an individual who was filling in as the Director of Cricket in a care-taker capacity, but he refused to say who that person was.
The Director of Cricket is a central position in Cricket SA and will be responsible for appointing the Head Coaches of all national teams, including the senior mens, womens and under-19 teams. The person will also be responsible for drawing up strategies for the 2023 Cricket World Cup campaign and for overseeing domestic playing structures.
Asked by Independent Media to name the care-taker Director of Cricket, Mthembu replied: “I’m not going to reveal names, for reasons that you know.”
In fact Mthembu, when asked for the identity of the “team” that will be selecting the South African squad, said: “Why do you wish to know this?”
Told that the South African public would be interested in knowing who will pick the team of players that will take the field to represent the country against England, Mthembu remarked: “I don’t know any reader who would be interested.”
Pressed to reveal the names of the “technical team,” Mthembu said: “That I am not willing to tell you.”
Asked for a reason, Mthembu responded: “We’ve gotten to a point, where as a company we need to protect our employees, because people’s names are being brandished irresponsibly in various newspapers including your own. We will then protect names, because I don’t know where you are going with the article.”
Nevertheless, Mthembu wanted to assure the South African public that Cricket SA remained on top of matters as it pertained to the selection of the Proteas side for the England series.
“There is team of people that are responsible for delivering the South African team to compete with England for the upcoming series. There are capable people who will be responsible for performing these roles. South Africans and cricket fans must rest assured there will be a team come the date when the team is announced.”