Cape Town - The board of Western Province Cricket Association & Western Cape Cricket (Pty) Ltd on Friday confirmed the appointment of Nabeal Dien, long-serving general manager of Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA), as the new Chief Executive of the WPCA and Western Cape Cricket.
Dien will succeed Andre Odendaal, who retired after ten years as Chief Executive Officer.
The former school teacher has had a long history with Western Province cricket, having worked for the association for 15 years.
He was instrumental in developing pipeline-strategies as well as setting foundations for cup-success which has been synonymous with WP and the Cape Cobras the past decade.
Dien, 59, started as Youth Cricket manager in 1997 and rose to the position of director of amateur cricket in 2002.
The WPCA appointed Dien as chief executive of amateur cricket before he left full-time employment in July 2008 to pursue other interests.
In June 2010, he became general manager of WPCA.
Dien, formerly a senior Western Province cricket administrator for nine years, has served on senior development committees of Cricket South Africa the past decade.
The new CEO saluted the role of his predecessor.
“Andre played a key role in transforming Western Province and Cobras-cricket through a turbulent period, which has resulted in major successes on and off the field.
“I have five main objectives as CEO. Firstly, I want to deepen the value of transformation in our cricket systems.
“Secondly, I want to continue the legacy that Odendaal and myself have been instrumental in setting up the last four years,” he added.
As province-shareholders, Western Province, Boland and the Cape Cobras have won 61 % of all competitions they have entered in 57 attempts the past four years, an indication of their domination domestically.
The Cape Cobras have also been rated by Cricket South Africa in the latest budget programmes as the No 1-ranked province in the country on and off the field.
The franchise-team won the domestic double in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014, and added the RAM Slam T20 Trophy to the trophy cabinet with an emphatic victory in December 2014.
Dien said he wants to create and facilitate the long-term sustainability of the Newlands cricket ground and work hard on reducing the debt they still have.
“My personal vision is to erase that debt within the next three to five years.
“Sustaining our youth and provincial amateur cricket at a level where it can be a national role model and active feeder for the Cape Cobras and national teams, is part of my medium-term goals,” added Dien.
“I will commit myself to the continued excellence and production of players for the Cape Cobras, the Proteas and other franchises.
“We are proud of our feeder systems at Western Province. In 2013, an off-season winter programme for fast bowlers run by Charl Langeveldt and Johann Louw actively contributed to the excellent form shown by Beuran Hendricks in the 2013/2014-season.
“Twelve non-contracted players were assisted by the Cape Cobras during an off-season winter programme to accelerate and broaden their skills in 2014.
“In 2014, we provided four South African Schools players, four South African Under-19-players, three SA Under-19 women’s players and three South African Under-17 players.
“During the past ten years, we have seen several home-grown products evolve to international players, including JP Duminy, Richard Levi, Vernon Philander, Stiaan van Zyl, Rory Kleinveldt and Dane Piedt.
“We have also seen Newlands Cricket Ground lure already established international stars like Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla who could propel the Cobras to new heights, while serving as model and mentor to other emerging international players.
“My last commitment is to actively pursue the broadening of the base of black African players in the Western Province in our endeavours to make cricket a truly national sport of winners.
“We have had our first instalment of the Langa Sports Festival at the end of December in order to encourage cricket-participation at youth level in this hotspot of sport in the Western Cape.
“The new Newlands Cricket High School with 26 new black learners will start later in January, and is set to produce fifty black African grade 12-learners of provincial cricketing quality within four years.
“Our eight Western Cape hubs of development will further bolster our plans to produce black African cricketers for this country.
“Nabeal has been a crucial part in my career, from my formative years as a junior player to where I am today,” said Duminy, senior player of the Cobras and South Africa. “He always took a keen interest in me as a player and a person.
“He has been a crucial part of the successful implementation of structures in Western Province and the franchise which has contributed to their winning of silverware. He is one of the reasons why Cobra-cricket is where it is today.
“Nabeal is well-respected by the players and within the cricket community. His appointment of CEO is well-deserved. I know he will do a fantastic job and take Cobras-cricket to the next level.”
Norman Arendse, former president of Cricket South Africa (CSA), said Dien was instrumental in setting up coaching and development structures in WP which produced many fine cricketers over the 15 years he was in charge of amateur cricket.
Many of the current Cobras and WP amateur players came through the system devised by him.
Dien, he said, knows WP and Cobras cricket better than most and is fully aware of the challenges that WP and the Cobras face on and off the field. “He is the ideal choice to follow in Prof Odendaal’s footsteps and his legacy of combining the transformation imperatives with the commercial realities the game demands.”
Ali Bacher, former managing director of South African cricket, said: “Nabeal is an outstanding administrator, with a strong feel for development cricket particularly in the disadvantaged areas.
“He is a man of impeccable integrity and honesty. I believe he will serve Western Province and South African cricket very well for years to come.”
WPCA president, Beresford Williams, commented: “He has been an integral part of the success of Western Province and the Cobras franchise the past ten years.
“He has driven our successful pipeline-strategies which have resulted in the production of junior South African stars, in multiple titles for Western Province in the CSA-competitions, and franchise-glory for the Cobras.
“I can think of no better man to take over and guide us the next few years.”