JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa (CSA) and especially the Proteas will enter a whole new era where a framework that combines the world of the NFL and European club football will form a combined leadership structure through which the national team must find success.
Whether it be a General Manager at an NFL team - who oversees the hiring of coaches and signs players to contracts and is answerable to a CEO - or a football manager like Pep Guardiola, who answers to a Director of Football - in Guardiola’s case Txiki Begiristain at Manchester City - these changes CSA is seeking to implement are considerable and will require honesty and patience.
In the short term it will also require stability of some sort, which is why it would be sensible to keep Faf du Plessis as captain especially for the tour to India next month and the incoming tour by England in the summer.
Both new positions which Cricket SA announced on Sunday; Director of Cricket and the newly formulated Team Manager, demand individuals with a vast and in-depth knowledge of the game and in the case of the Director, a wide-ranging understanding of strategic trends in modern sports and the continuing evolution of those trends.
The most practical aspect of the Director of Cricket position will be the drawing up of a strategy for the 2023 World Cup, much like Andrew Strauss did when he took over a similar position with English cricket following that national team’s epic failure in 2015.