Former South African captain Graeme Smith is about to become the country’s first cricket director, a post for which he was interviewed by the Cricket South Africa Board, according to a report on ESPNcricinfo. The interviews were conducted by a panel of five, including CSA Chief Executive Officer Thabang Moroe.
The new position, created after the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2019, sees Smith competing with Corrie van Zyl, who was originally named for the position, albeit temporarily before being banned, and former Hussein the Hussein manack.
In addition to the experience of playing the sport internationally, Smith also has some entrepreneurial experience gained in the Corporate Social Responsibility team of the financial services company Momentum, who are also the sponsors of the one-day national competition.
Van Zyl and Manack themselves provide strong references. While the former General Manager of Cricket South Africa since 2009 and even it’s the head coach during the 2011 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Hussein was over 50 National Selector from 2012 until the conclusion of this year’s flagship tournament. Van Zyl was also Head Coach of the Free State.
Both men also bring unique qualifications. Van Zyl holds a certificate in sports management from the University of London, Manack a Level 3 trainer certificate, a UK National Cricket Association trainer qualification and a managerial program in business administration and sports and event management from the University of Witwatersrand. He was also the managing director of a manufacturing and retail company for more than a decade.
Both van Zyl and Manack have significant experience of playing the game at first-class levels. Van Zyl played 104 first-class matches in which he completed 2,313 runs alongside 349 wickets, including a century. In List A Cricket his career brought in 118 games 887 runs and 127 wickets. Manack does not have much experience in the List A format, but in a first-class 52-game career, 2140 runs were completed with an average of 27.79.
The Cricket Director will oversee all the crickets played under the CSA umbrella, including national team, age group teams, home cricket, and high-performance structure. In accordance with the requirements of the Board, a successful candidate should have a qualification in sports management and at least 10 years of experience in sports or media management, coaching or playing at least at a first-class level.
It is expected that CSA will fill the position within the next two weeks as the goal is to improve the position prior to the Boxing Day Test against host country England. They are also looking for a director for the men’s team and a new assembly of voters after Linda Zondi has argued with the board.