April 27, 2002

Former South African Test stars included in National Cricket Committee

Four former South African Test players - Andrew Hudson, Craig Matthews, Omar Henry and Pat Symcox - have been appointed to serve on a National Cricket Committee set up on Saturday to examine issues around the national side following South Africa's unhappy summer against Australia.

Specifically, the nine-man committee will look at selection, the leadership and management of the South African team and help devise strategies ahead of next year's World Cup.

Along with the four Test players, the committee will be convened by United Cricket Board chief executive Gerald Majola and includes Natal president Logan Naidoo, who represents the General Council, UCB Director of Coaching Anton Ferreira, current selector Haroon Lorgat and Imraan Munshi.

The committee will only have powers of recommendation, but having been set up by the General Council, it would serve no purpose if the UCB were to ignore its recommendations. The formation of the committee is also a tacit admission that there is very little cricketing expertise at the highest levels of the administration and on the General Council.

The committee will first meet during the coming week and among its first tasks will be to consider nominations for a new selection panel. The current panel, under the convenership of Rushdi Magiet, stumbled from one mistake to the next during the past summer and wholesale changes can be expected. The new panel will also be trimmed to four members from the current six.

Once the new panel is in place, its first task will be to name a training squad for the World Cup (probably consisting of around 25 players) as well as deciding on the nationally contracted players for the 2002/2003 season. All this should have taken place inside the next three weeks.

Also on Saturday, a special general meeting of the UCB adopted a new constitution which provides for the organisation to be divided into professional and amateur arms. This restructuring has come about mainly as a result of new tax legislation, but it should also serve to streamline the administration of the game in South Africa. Four directors are to be nominated from the General Council to serve on the Board of Directors of Cricket SA (Pty) Ltd.