Temba Bavuma meets with Enoch Nkwe, JP Duminy appointed Proteas consultant
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JOHANNESBURG – Temba Bavuma said he had talked with Enoch Nkwe about his resignation, but preferred to keep their discussions secret, saying Nkwe would speak publicly when he felt comfortable to do so.
Nkwe shocked the local cricket establishment when he resigned as the Proteas’ assistant coach, just days before the team headed to Sri Lanka. Despite attempts by Cricket SA’s new chairman Lawson Naidoo and acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki, to change his mind, Nkwe was adamant that he wanted to leave, citing concerns about the national team’s environment and culture.
Cricket SA announced on Friday that Justin Sammons and former Proteas star, JP Duminy would be joining the management team as “specialist consultants,” for the T20 World Cup.
Moseki said this week that following discussions with Director of Cricket Graeme Smith and the rest of the team management, appointing someone as an assistant coach in the short term was unnecessary.
Sammons will be familiar with the Lions players in the South African squad having worked as batting coach at the franchise in the last few seasons. He has had an influential role on the improvement of both Reeza Hendricks and rassie van der Dussen in recent years.
Duminy, who retired after the 2019 World Cup, recently took on the role as ‘batting lead’ at the Central Gauteng Lions union.
Meanwhile, Bavuma confirmed his meeting with Nkwe, with the opportunity arising earlier than Bavuma had initially anticipated after his thumb was fractured during the first match of the ODI series with Sri Lanka, forcing him to return home early for surgery.
“I met up with Enoch, we had a productive conversation,” said the South African limited overs captain.
“I understand the situation that he finds himself in. He did ask me to pay respect to the fact that he will find time to engage with the media and that he wants to be the person that really gives clarity and reasons behind it all. I’d like to respect that.”
“As someone who’s known Enoch, who’s enjoyed that player/coach relationship, I support him in that decision and wish him well, as all of us as teammates have done.”
When he was still in Sri Lanka, Bavuma said he did not think there was a bad culture in the South African team, but acknowledged it was still evolving.
The reasons behind Nkwe’s resignation are the subject of an on-going inquiry by CSA, with the players and team management asked to provide their insights.
Smith stated that Nkwe’s resignation was disappointing. “He’s been an integral part of the leadership group. We had a number of engagements with him at the time when he decided to walk away. I’ve got to respect his decision. It’s disappointing for us, we see value in Enoch.”
Moseki said Cricket SA would start the search for an assistant coach for the Proteas in due course.
He also explained that the organisation still supported head coach Mark Boucher, despite growing public anger following the testimony concerning him at the Social Justice and Nation Building hearings. “The whole team, including the coach, has the full backing of the board and I hope it has the backing of the whole country as well, because they are going there to represent us as a country,” said Moseki.