Cape Town - Former South African batsman Jacques Rudolph admitted his concern for the current Proteas team following their disappointment at the World Cup and India tour.
The Proteas' poor performance has been in the spotlight following a seventh-place finish at the Cricket World Cup and their 3-0 Test series defeat to India.
However, off the field, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have been in several headlines after suspending two senior officials, their paying dispute with the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) and their issues filling the director of cricket position.
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Rudolph stated that CSA needs to take responsibility for the current state of South African cricket.
"Obviously the state of our game is not great and fundamentally there are aspects that are worrisome considering the way the Proteas have played over the last one-and-a-half seasons. South Africa's showing at the 2019 World Cup coupled with their performances against India is cause for concern," Rudolph told Sport24.
"I genuinely feel gutted for the Proteas players at the moment, however, a fish rots from the head. Cricket South Africa (CSA) should take full responsibility for where we are now at as a cricketing nation."
It was confirmed on Thursday that interim team director Enoch Nkwe will be in charge of the Proteas for the Test series against England starting next month.
Rudolph, who played two decades of franchise cricket and scored over 10 000 career runs in List A, confessed that he has not watched much domestic cricket.
"Structurally there are things which need looking at and, along with massive financial challenges, it makes it difficult as a collective to do well. I believe that when you have strong leadership at the top it filters right down through your national team and all the way to your franchise level," said Rudolph.
"I'll be honest in saying that I don't watch much franchise cricket but there is strong word on the street that the level has dropped as has crowd attendance. Strong leadership along with the right people in the right places with no hidden agendas is required. I think it's going to take a long time to turn this ship around.
"It's easy to blame players when the team isn't doing well but collectively CSA need to arrive at a place where everyone is aligned with the same vision."
Rudolph played 48 Tests scoring 2 622 runs, 43 ODIs making 1 174 runs and appeared in one T20I match for the Proteas.
The Proteas' welcome England to South African shores this summer in a four-Test series, starting with on December 26 at Centurion.
Read the full Q&A with Jacques Rudolph
- Compiled by Lynn Butler