Enoch Nkwe has resigned as assistant coach of the South African men’s team despite Cricket South Africa’s (CSA’s) board making what they called “every effort” to retain his services.
Enoch Nkwe Resigned
Nkwe informed the board that he intended to resign at the weekend with the news made public on Monday, when CSA held emergency talks with him to persuade him to stay on. The further dialogue was had on Tuesday, ending with Nkwe stepping down.
“It is deeply disappointing to lose someone of Enoch’s calibre at this time, but we fully understand and respect his decision,” Lawson Naidoo, CSA’s chair said. While part of the reason for Nkwe’s stepping down was put down to personal ambitions, CSA also cited “concerns about the functioning and culture of the team environment.”
ESPNcricinfo has learnt Nkwe’s decision to step down resulted from a disillusionment with the job of assistant coach and differences of opinion with head coach Mark Boucher, but the issues were not related to race. Several sources close to both Nkwe and Boucher confirmed that the pair’s personalities were incompatible and Boucher’s strong presence as a coach left Nkwe feeling sidelined. At the same time, Nkwe also wanted to have less of a role at training sessions and more input into the technical aspects of the game.
“The Board will be taking the necessary steps to investigate and address the issues raised by Enoch. We will not be commenting further on this until the process has been completed,” CSA said.
Although CSA left the door open for Nkwe’s return at a future stage, it is also unclear whether he will remain part of the succession plan to take over from Boucher after the 2023 World Cup.
Sources have also confirmed that Boucher’s position, after he apologised in creating and maintaining an exclusionary team culture during his playing days, remains safe. CSA’s board chair and acting CEO visited the team’s training camp, where they held what sources called “productive” meetings with team management.
The support staff for the Sri Lanka tour includes Northerns coach Mandla Mashimbyi, who will accompany Boucher, Justin Ontong (fielding) and Justin Sammons (new batting consultant), but is without regular bowling coach Charl Langeveldt, who cannot travel because of Covid-19 protocols.
The South Africa contingent is expected to leave for Sri Lanka on Wednesday, and captain Temba Bavuma will lead a slightly depleted ODI side, without Quinton de Kock (rested), David Miller (injured) and Lungi Ngidi (personal reasons).