South Africa hire two new coaches for white and red ball cricket:
Mark Boucher, who was appointed as the head coach of the South African team in 2019, in September last year announced that he will resign as the coach of the Proteas after the T20 World cup “in order to pursue other opportunities in line with his future career and personal objectives.”
Boucher’s departure after the team’s exit from the T20 World cup 2022, left the position for the head coach empty. Although the Cricket South Africa (CSA) hired Malibongwe Maketa, a South African cricketer, to coach the side in their Test series against Australia in December 2022 to January 2023, his role was only as an interim head coach for the series. However, on Monday the African Board announced that they have hired two different coaches for red and white ball cricket.
For the red-ball cricket, Shukri Conrad, former first-class player of South Africa who has held the positions of head coach of CSA’s National Academy, Uganda’s national team and South African Men’s U19 team during different times in his coaching career, will join the Proteas from 1st of February as the head coach. The Proteas team has no red-ball cricket scheduled to be played in the next 11 months barring the two Test matches against Windies in March. Thus, Conrad will not have a lot of work to do with the team in his schedule.
In the Future Tour Programme released for the cycle 2023-2027, the African team decreased the number of Tests in the first year of the cycle to adjust their nascent T20 league in the schedule. However, the CSA’S Director of Cricket in the latest developments said that SA still is ‘a very serious Test playing nation’.
“We are serious about being a Test-playing nation and we take the format very seriously. We have not relegated it to the margins because of T20 and we still see ourselves as a very serious Test-playing nation. We want to invest to get our Test team back to the standards we expect of them.”
The CEO of CSA, Pholetsi Moseki, similarly, said that the board aims to emphasize the value of the original format of the game.
“We will always emphasize the value of Test cricket. We are adding a number of Test games over the next four years.”
As for white-ball cricket, the South African cricket governing body decided to choose Rob Walter, who has served as the team’s strength and conditioning coach between 2009 and 2013 after which he went to New Zealand to coach Otega and other Central Districts. Walter has also held the job as the head coach for Titans in South Africa domestic cricket.
Both Walter and Conrad were chosen from a list of experienced and proficient coaches including the interim coach Malibongwe Maketa, Richard Pybus, Adrian Birrell and Lance Klusener. Since both coaches will become a part of the team on 1st February, the English tour of South Africa, which will be played late in January, will see an interim coach guiding the team, as told by Enoch Nkwe.