Town - Rediscovering the passion to play for South Africa is
something that Lance
Klusener wants to bring into his new role as Proteas
batting coach for the upcoming T20 series in India.
The former Proteas allrounder,
considered one of the country's best ever ODI players, looked on with the rest
of South Africa as the Proteas crumbled to a 7th place finish at the 2019 World
Cup in England.
It was a horrible showing from
Faf du Plessis' men, and one that ultimately cost Ottis Gibson his job as head
Now, under the new leadership of
interim team director Enoch Nkwe and acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl,
the Proteas are starting fresh and on Thursday it was revealed that Klusener
would have a key role to play in that renewal.
The 47-year-old, who has an
impressive coaching resume that includes being head coach at the Dolphins from
2012-2016, batting coach of Zimbabwe and in charge of numerous T20 franchises
around the world, wants to be a part of a culture where players put it all on
the line for the Proteas badge and their country.
"From the outside and what
I've seen, I just don't necessarily see that passion to play for South Africa
anymore. That's something that the coaches will need to tackle and have a look
at," he told Sport24 on
"That's just what it looked
like. I haven't been in the system and I'm sure the guys were trying, but it
just didn't look like it should.
"I think finding that
passion of playing for your country again is half the battle.
"There is no other option
... we have to get things right."
Klusener, who has been coaching
for around 13 years now, believes that 80% of coaching is getting the players
in the right mental space.
"I think there are people in
there who probably don't believe they can mix it with the best in the
world," he said.
"The talent is all
With hurt of the 2019 World Cup
now a distant memory, the Proteas can turn their focus to the T20 World Cup in
Australia next year. That will be South Africa's next opportunity to bag a
major ICC crown, but Klusener knows there is still a long way to go.
The recent retirements of key
players in the Protea set-up, combined with the fact that there are other key
figures currently nearing the end of their careers, will provide a massive
"You don't just replace a
Faf (Du Plessis), Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla or AB de Villiers ... it takes years
to replace those guys," said Klusener.
"Those quality players leave
huge gaps, so it is a challenge. Those players have also kept other players out
of the team and some of those players are now on Kolpaks and playing overseas
so we don't have that experience to draw on.
"If you take where South
African cricket is now, it will take a long time.
"It's going to need some
patience and understanding from a lot of people, but if there's some
consistency with the right people in the right places then we've got half a
"There is a long road to go
before we can be contending."
Turning his attention to Nkwe,
Klusener only had positive things to say about a man he has worked with
domestically and abroad.
"Enoch has done extremely
well with the Lions. He is a genuine and down to earth guy who has South
African cricket at heart," said Klusener.
"He has got everything he
needs to the job as well as anyone else out there."
The Proteas are expected to hold
a camp in Pretoria at the beginning of next month before leaving for India
ahead of the first T20I in Dharamsala on September 15.