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‘We’re excited to work with Enoch Nkwe,’ says Proteas’ stand-in skipper Keshav Maharaj

CSA’s new director of cricket Enoch Nkwe

FILE - CSA’s new director of cricket Enoch Nkwe. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jul 7, 2022

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Cape Town — New Cricket SA Director Enoch Nkwe has the full support of the Proteas’ Men’s team, according to stand-in ODI captain Keshav Maharaj.

Nkwe, 39, replaced former Proteas captain Graeme Smith last week. Smith opted not to renew his contract back in March.

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Cricket SA’s decision to promote the former Highveld Lions and Jozi Stars coach was met with contrasting views on social media, particularly after Nkwe quit as Proteas assistant coach last year due to differences with national team coach Mark Boucher.

Boucher will now, though, effectively report to Nkwe, who met with the Proteas team ahead of their departure to England, in his new role.

"We had a brief chat with Enoch, but we did not divulge too much in terms of the plans going forward," Maharaj told reporters on Thursday.

"His main aim is to leave cricket in a better place than where it was. Previously, I have known Enoch from 2015, when we worked together in India.

"I've always thoroughly enjoyed him as a person and as a coach. His philosophy towards certain things is really remarkable. It's something we can look forward to.

"The guys in the camp are excited about the years ahead of planning and where we want to be as a unit.

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"All we can do is wish him luck and support him on his journey in taking this team and this cricketing nation to the next level, where it should be."

The past two years has seen the men’s national team and the Cricket SA executive board at loggerheads over various issues, namely the handling of the Black Lives Matter movement and the alleged racism allegations against coach Boucher.

Maharaj has insisted that this is all in the past now with the team having the opportunity to meet with the Cricket SA executive board.

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"We had a brief intervention with the board," he said. "It's important to bridge the gap and pave a way forward. It was a good exercise to have so that we can leave whatever baggage we had [behind], look at the positives, and leave cricket in a better place.

"As soon as we jet off tomorrow [Friday], we're starting on a clean slate and moving forward together as a unit, as a proper Cricket South Africa unit going forward. That's where we're at right now."

The Proteas face world champions England in the first ODI on Tuesday, July 19.

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