CSA Board receives National and Domestic Cricket Review reports

CSA President Chris Nenzani

CSA President Chris Nenzani

THE Board of Directors of Cricket South Africa (CSA) has received the reports from both the CSA National Team Review Panel as well as the Domestic Cricket Systems Review.

The Board held a special meeting on Friday, 6 January 2017, to meet with the National Team Review Panel to discuss their report. The Domestic Review report will be discussed at the Board’s next scheduled meeting at the end of January.

“The Board has received and accepted both cricket review reports and noted the various recommendations made. We will now consider all the recommendations in detail through our management and committee structures before making any decisions,” commented CSA Board Chairman, Chris Nenzani. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank both review teams for their time, effort and very professional approach in producing constructive and thorough reports. They have explored many important issues and the review exercise will no doubt contribute significantly to us striving to go from good to great.”

The National Team Review focused on the Proteas and high performance environments. The seven key recommendations emanating from this report are as follows:

i. Culture: Build a common and shared purpose that all stakeholders subscribe to in order to address the issues that led to the erosion of the culture within the Protea team

ii. Director of Cricket: Appoint a Director of Cricket (DoC) whose function will largely be to oversee the performance of the Protea Team with ultimate accountability on all issues relating to the performance of the teams at the pinnacle of the sport in South Africa.

iii. Convener of selectors: Change the current role of the convener of selectors into a permanent position with defined responsibilities for selection as well as talent identification in South African cricket and realign the workings of the selection panel.

iv. Talent retention: Formulate and execute a strategy to minimise or stop the loss of ‘players of national interest’ in our setup.

v. SA A team and High Performance Centre: Make sure that the role of the SA A team and High Performance Centre is contributing to the sustained success of the Proteas.

vi. Coaching: Develop coaches who have the role of improving the pipeline of players to the Proteas and consider the option of contracting franchise coaches to CSA.

vii. Ex-players: Create an environment where ex-players feel included and can be used as a resource to share skills and experiences.

The Review Panel also emphasized the importance of transformation if the Proteas were to make the fullest use of the playing resources available to them and thus have the best chance of winning major events.

A strong point was made that transformation needs to be widely embraced – and from the lowest levels to the highest. Here, the sentiment was that it should not be a ‘numbers game’ which leads to a focus on the numbers instead of the root causes of the problem. Rather, it should be something that is tackled holistically throughout the system – and this calls for a deep-seated mind shift for all involved in cricket for it to be sustainable. Essentially, we will only know that we have the strongest team possible on the field if there has been equal access for all.

The aim of the Domestic Cricket Review is to ensure the right balance is achieved between player opportunity or access and performance excellence. With this in mind the report recommends a seventh franchise be considered and that the size of each franchise squad be limited to 15 players.

The recommendation was discussed at a recent CSA Cricket Committee meeting and is due to be considered by the Board at its next meeting at the end of January.

The final decision will then rest with the Members’ Council.

“Our aim with these reviews is to critically analyse our existing cricket structures,” commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “Where we can, we must improve in both our domestic and international setups.

“As we had expected, there are some common threads running through both reports which are, or will be, addressed so that we can be the best cricket nation in the world.

“We are already in the process of rolling out new coaching structures and individual player performance plans after the Board approved funding in excess of R100m over the next four years.

“Together with our people development and the Hubs and RPC programmes, these initiatives form part of our broader transformation plans which are essential to deliver our vision to make cricket a truly national sport of winners,” concluded Mr. Lorgat.

The National Teams Review Panel consisted of: Adam Bacher (former Proteas player); Iqbal Khan (CSA Independent Board member); Francois Pienaar (World Cup winning Springbok rugby captain), Mthobi Tyamzashe (former acting chief executive of SRSA and former executive director of the National Sports Council) and Richard Rice (Independent Research Consultant).

The panel were supported by an advisory panel consisting of: Francois Hugo (FirstRand HR Executive); Tony Irish (Chief Executive, SA Cricketers’ Association); Gary Kirsten (former Proteas player and coach); and Graeme Smith (former Proteas captain).