Former selector Manack the answer to SA cricket woes?

2019-11-18 14:36
From left: Ottis Gibson, Hussein Manack and Faf du
From left: Ottis Gibson, Hussein Manack and Faf du Plessis (Getty)

Cape Town - Former national selector Hussein Manack has been interviewed for the vacant role of Director of Cricket (DOC) of the Proteas. 

The 51-year-old confirmed to Sport24 on Monday that his interview last week Friday went "very well" and that he is hopeful.

Manack's contract as a national selector, including that of selection convenor Linda Zondi, came to an end in July this year after the Proteas' World Cup campaign England, where they finished a dismal 7th.

That was the beginning of mass change from Cricket South Africa (CSA) that saw Ottis Gibson sacked as head coach along with his entire backroom coaching staff.

Since then, CSA CEO Thabang Moroe has also announced a complete restructure in the organisation with the formation of the DOC position as well as that of a Team Director, who would fall under the DOC. 

That role is currently occupied by Enoch Nkwe in an interim capacity. 

Moroe had confirmed last month that the plan was to appoint a permanent DOC before England arrived in South Africa for their end-of-your tour. 

Then, two weeks ago, Graeme Smith emerged as a frontrunner for the position when he confirmed his interest in the role and that he had been interviewed. 

Just six days after that story broke, however, Smith removed himself from the running while highlighting the 10-week negotiation process with CSA as frustrating. 

That all comes after the acting DOC, Corrie van Zyl, was suspended on October 29 for what CSA is alleging was a dereliction of duty relating to a player payment dispute between CSA and SACA stemming from the 2018 Mzansi Super League (MSL). 

Van Zyl, while suspended, has also been interviewed for the DOC role.

Manack might not be the most high-profile option, but what CSA do have in him is a man who has been in the system for a long time. 

He served as a national selector between 2012 and 2019 while he was also convenor of selectors at the Lions between 2011 and 2014. 

He also holds a CSA Level 3 coaching qualification. 

Manack was interviewed as part of the 2015 inquiry that saw, among others, former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar examine why the Proteas had a history of under-performing at World Cups following their dramatic semi-final exit that year. 

One of the recommendations from that inquiry was that CSA look to appoint a DOC, and Manack at the time became interested in such a role. 

He says he has spent the last three years researching trends in the game globally, including spending time with some of the individuals responsible for English cricket's revolution since their own disappointment at the 2015 World Cup when they were eliminated at the group stages. 

Four years after that disappointment, England were crowned world champions on home soil. 

Manack is understood to be heavily geared towards improving the high-performance structures in South African cricket with an emphasis on producing more genuine all-rounders from a young age, while he also wants to invest in South Africa's well-documented troubles against facing spin bowling over the years. 

If Manack was to get the role before England arrive, one of his first responsibilities would be to help appoint a team director and a convenor of selectors, but there is surely not enough time to see a replacement for Nkwe before the first Test against England on September 26 at Centurion. 

"I do think that Enoch has got a lot of what it takes," said Manack.

"I think he is a good people's person and he's done very well. 

"Whoever you are going to put there, I think it's important to make sure that he's got good support around him."

Sport24 has approached CSA for comment on when they are expecting to fill the DOC position, but there has been no response yet. 

Read more on:    proteas  |  hussein manack  |  cricket


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