JOHANNESBURG – Cricket SA’s chief executive Thabang Moroe is searching for a cricketing Jose Mourinho to fill the position of Team Director with the Proteas men’s team.
The new Team Director will combine the head coaching duties with that of the old style team manager, taking on a position with the national side that is very similar to the football manager’s role Mourinho has filled at various clubs around Europe.
Moroe’s point about Mourinho, regarded the Portuguese’s lack of experience as a player, and rather his strategic acumen as a manager, because Moroe doesn’t feel that the person who will fill the Team Director’s position needs to be a former player with first class experience.
“You have world class coaches who have won the World Cup as players, but when it comes to coaching professionally they are nowhere to be found,” said Moroe.
“Then in football you get an individual like Jose Mourinho, who has achieved so much but is nowhere near having had professional playing experience.
“We are not after your playing stats we are after what you can put on the table in terms of strategy and executing that strategy and your managerial skills which you don’t get as player playing first class cricket.”
The Proteas have had people with either limited or no first class playing experience, who have previously coached the side.
Russell Domingo was the national side’s coach for four years, won a series in Australia in 2016 and was at the helm for what is still South Africa’s only triumph in a World Cup knockout match, the quarter-final win against Sri Lanka in 2015.
Even in the early 2000s, Cricket SA appointed Graham Ford, who’s only first class experience came in seven matches for Natal B in the 1980s.
“I don’t see having experience of playing first class cricket as that important given what we want to achieve,” said Moroe. “We are after the brains of an individual. We have had coaches with playing experience and none of them have won us the World Cup.”
The Team Director will be answerable to the Director of Cricket, another position Cricket SA is advertising at the moment. The organisation hopes to have both positions filled by the time England arrive here in December.
Corrie Van Zyl, in his current role as acting Director of Cricket, is overseeing the selection of squads for South Africa’s tour to India, which includes three T20 Internationals and three Tests.
Van Zyl will appoint an interim Team Director, while Faf du Plessis will skipper the Test team and assist in selecting that squad.
A new captain for the white ball formats is likely as Van Zyl starts mapping the path to the 2023 World Cup.
The new structure at the head of the Proteas will see the Team Director answer to the Director of Cricket, who in turn will answer to Moroe.@shockerhess