Manack may just be the man for SA cricket


HUS­SEIN Manack was part of South Africa’s ground­break­ing maiden tour to In­dia in 1991 and the World Cup in Aus­tralia the fol­low­ing year.

Manack, though, did not play a sin­gle game. In fact, he was not even con­sid­ered for se­lec­tion as he was taken along as a non-play­ing, devel­op­ment mem­ber of the squad. Fel­low for­mer South African Cricket Board all-rounder Faiek Davids, Han­sie Cronje and Derek Crookes were the other non-play­ing squad mem­bers.

But un­like Cronje and Crookes, nei­ther Manack nor Davids went on to play in­ter­na­tional cricket. The ex­or­cise was win­dow-dress­ing at its height.

Although Manack does not re­gret go­ing on the tours like many had pre­scribed him not to, it did set in mo­tion the phi­los­o­phy he lives by to­day.

“I would like to see peo­ple of my gen­er­a­tion who still can’t bring them­selves to sup­port South Africa to start do­ing so be­cause it is our coun­try, and un­less we take own­er­ship of our na­tional sides we will not be able to have a say or make a dif­fer­ence,” Manack said.

It cer­tainly is a poignant state­ment. Since those early days, Manack has been com­mit­ted to mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in SA cricket at al­most ev­ery level of the game.

He has served as a Gaut­eng Cricket Board mem­ber, been con­venor of se­lec­tors at the Highveld Lions be­tween 2011 and 2014, and more promi­nently was a Proteas se­lec­tor be­tween 2012 and 2019.

Manack is also a CSA Level 3 ac­cred­ited coach.

Which brings us to the present. The 51-year-old is one of the lead­ing can­di­dates for the soon-to-bean­nounced Di­rec­tor of Cricket po­si­tion at Cricket SA.

While public clam­our has been for the be­lea­guered body to ap­point a high-pro­file for­mer player, there is merit to ap­point­ing some­one with Manack’s ex­pe­ri­ence.

He knows CSA’s struc­tures in­ti­mately, from youth level all the way up to the na­tional side. He has worked with the re­spec­tive coaches, and has built up re­la­tion­ships with them, par­tic­u­larly SA Un­der-19 men­tor Lawrence Ma­hat­lane.

Di­a­logue be­tween the Di­rec­tor of Cricket and SA U19 team is cru­cial to the long-term suc­cess of the Proteas.

Equally, Manack and cur­rent in­terim Proteas coach Enoch Nkwe also sing from the same hymn sheet with the for­mer hav­ing been part of the process of Nkwe get­ting his fran­chise post at the Lions.

For the Di­rec­tor of Cricket – re­gard­less of whether it is Manack or not – to be suc­cess­ful the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion need to be open from the very top right through to the bot­tom and ev­ery­one needs to be on the save page. That does not mean CSA need to em­ploy a “Yes Man” be­cause Manack is the fur­thest thing from it. He pos­sesses strong be­liefs and equally strong prin­ci­ples and is a firm be­liever in trans­for­ma­tion and par­tic­u­larly non-racial­ism in or­der to pro­vide ev­ery­one equal op­por­tu­ni­ties.

SA cricket needs some di­rec­tion. Manack may just be the man to pro­vide it.


HUS­SEIN MANACK has been com­mit­ted to mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in South African cricket at al­most ev­ery level of the game. |

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