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News

Enoch Nkwe appointed South Africa Director of Cricket

From falling out with the head coach to becoming his new boss, the 39-year old has made a triumphant return

Enoch Nkwe is positive about the road ahead for South African cricket

Enoch Nkwe is positive about the road ahead for South African cricket  •  Getty Images

From falling out with the head coach to becoming his new boss, Enoch Nkwe has completed a triumphant return to South African cricket. The 39-year old who resigned as assistant coach in 2021 in part due to differences with Mark Boucher has now been appointed Director of Cricket by CSA.
Nkwe beat former South Africa spinner and current Warriors coach Robin Peterson to the job. He succeeds Graeme Smith whose tenure ended in March 2022.
Once a promising batter for Gauteng who began his first-class career with a century on debut, Nkwe's time on the field was cut short at age of 26 thanks to a finger injury. But as that door closed, another opened. In 2018, during his very first season as head coach, Nkwe claimed three domestic titles - two with the Lions and one with the Jozi Stars.
That catapulted him to higher honours and, on the back of being named Coach of the Season in 2019, he took over as interim team director with South Africa remodelling the way they ran the game by borrowing from successful football teams. Nkwe even invoked his love of Pep Guardiola when he was first appointed.
Nkwe's tenure as interim director lasted five months between August and December 2019. He was then appointed assistant coach to Boucher, but in the lead-up to the 2021 T20 World Cup, he left the post citing disillusionment with the job and differences of opinion with Boucher, but the issues were not related to race.
Nkwe's demotion was a part of the Social Justice and Nation Building hearings, where CSA was said to be institutionally racist. He was stood down by then Director of Cricket Smith in favour of his former team-mate Boucher, but in arbitration it was found that Smith had acted on sound cricketing logic given Boucher's 14 years of experience as a player in the top flight. Nkwe had never played international cricket for South Africa but he did have something Boucher didn't at the time - a level four coaching certificate. That, though, was never a pre-requisite for the job. Gary Kirsten once served as South Africa coach without such certification.
CSA has also brought in Mtunzi Jonas, who used to be a general manager with financial services company Absa Group, as their new Chief Commercial Officer. Tjaart van der Walt is their new Chief Financial Officer and Wanele Mngomezulu, who was part of the Jozi Stars' set up in 2018, as Chief Marketing Officer.
"The appointment of these executives is intended to strengthen CSA's resolve and anchoring the administration with the best expertise on offer," CSA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki said. "I am delighted that CSA has attracted this calibre of talent, which will change the fortunes of the organisation into the future. It is against this background that I congratulate the appointees for making it through the stringent recruitment process, which merited their appointments. They have indeed demonstrated their desire to serve this beautiful game in the different portfolio's by bringing their capabilities to bear."
The Director of Cricket will assume duty on July 1 while the other three will join on August 1.