Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram will, presumably, be restored at the top of the order in the first Test against England now that Markram has learnt that walls generally put up a decent defence if you pick a fight with one.
The middle order is far less certain after the calamitous tour of India but Zubayr Hamza, the incumbent number three, made a bright 62 which ought to be enough to keep him there. Will captain Faf remain at number four? Or is it time for Rassie van der Dussen to be introduced to the Test team?
If the miserable Indian slate is to be wiped clean, then vice-captain Temba Bavuma could have his run at number four extended. What about an all rounder at number six with Quinton de Kock back to seven where he has enjoyed his greatest success?
Wiaan Mulder is a fine batting prospect and Dwaine Pretorius is also good enough to bat at six – but is their bowling good enough? Any chance Chris Morris might be given another chance at Test cricket?
What is the pace bowling pecking order? Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Lungi Ngidi – or Anrich Nortje? Will there be any ‘requests’ made to the Centurion curator ahead of the Boxing Day Test? If so, what will they be? Keshav Maharaj may have endured a horrible tour in India but so did everyone else and he has a remarkable record in SA conditions. It would be a pity if spinners were marginalised by conditions. Maharaj is a more consistent wicket taker than either of Jack Leach or Moeen Ali for England.
These are all questions which should have been addressed by now. There are only 10 days between the Mzansi Super League final and the Boxing Day Test.
But there will be no Director of Cricket appointed until next year. The Team Director or head coach (Enoch Nkwe) remains on an interim basis and the positions of his support staff and assistant coaches remain fluid.
It is understandable that there is no convenor of selectors because there are no selectors to convene. The Acting Director of Cricket (Corrie van Zyl) remains suspended for not making a payment to the players which only CEO Thabang Moroe was authorised to make. For bad measure, CSA’s COO is also suspended along with Marketing and Sponsorship Manager Clive Eksteen.
At least one of the two High Court cases that CSA was involved in has come to an end. An utterly humiliating end for the national body. Moroe’s decision to unilaterally suspend the Western Province president and his entire board and place the organization under administration was overturned and set aside – with costs
A statement from CSA said they would not appeal. The statement from the WPCA was terse but with a commendable attempt at conciliation:
The Award confirms that the decision taken by Cricket South Africa to suspend the Board of WPCA in September this year was invalid, unlawful and therefore set aside. Cricket South Africa has been ordered to pay costs of the arbitration, including costs of two counsels of WPCA.
The WPCA Board has noted Cricket South Africa’s decision not to contest the Arbitration Award in their statement issued this morning. The WPCA has been vindicated and affirmed by the arbitration ruling.
The illegal suspension of the WPCA Board has come at a great cost to the individual board members, all of whom have extensive corporate governance experience and a proven track record in contributing to Western Province cricket. The Board remains committed to protecting the interests of its members, clubs and the faithful supporters of Western Province cricket.
The Board is of the view that the unlawful suspension by Cricket South Africa, which included the physical banning of Board members from Newlands Cricket Grounds, has been an example of serious over-reach by the national body into the affairs of the association and if allowed to go uncontested, would have set a bad precedent for governance in sports
The second High Court case, launched by the SA Cricketers Association (SACA) will also end in humiliating failure for CSA, which is in clear and flagrant breach of its MOU with the players.
The administration and board room stuff is scary but dull. Eventually, enough people with authority and a conscience will make the changes that need making and, a bit like the country as a whole, cricket will get back on track.
It’s the chaos amongst the infrastructure of the national team which really hurts. The Proteas are the pinnacle of everything the administrators at CSA represent. The national team pays the wages. All of our wages.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.