Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Reaching finals shows SA cricket is ‘moving in the right direction’, says Nkwe

Enoch Nkwe feels recent World Cup results have proved the systems put in place at national level are working.

With the national cricket teams having reached two World Cup finals in two years, Cricket South Africa director of cricket Enoch Nkwe believes the sport is on the right track.

As of 2022, between them, the Proteas men’s and women’s sides had competed in the semifinals at seven editions of 50-over World Cup tournaments, as well as four editions of T20 World Cups, but they had never progressed to the trophy contests.

In 2023, the SA women broke the duck by reaching the final of the T20 World Cup in Cape Town, and last week the SA men competed in the final of the global T20 showpiece in the West Indies.

Systems are working

While they lost the finals on both occasions, and the nation’s first senior cricket World Cup trophy remained elusive, Nkwe felt their recent results proved the systems put in place at national level were working. This was thanks not only to current administrators, staff, coaches and players, but also to their predecessors.

“Reaching two finals in a short period goes to show the buy-in not only from the two teams but also from a system point of view and from our domestic teams,” Nkwe said this week.

“A whole lot of things have obviously happened over the last two years, but there was also quite a lot of work that was one done before my time as director of cricket… building to these moments.

“So we are definitely heading in the right direction, but there’s still a lot of work that we need to do.”

Looking ahead

While the women’s side will compete at the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in October, and the men’s side will turn out at the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan next year, Nkwe said this was all part of a long-term process, with CSA setting its sights on the women’s World Cup in India in 2025 and the men’s 50-over tournament in South Africa in 2027.

He was pleased with the progress they had shown towards these goals over the last couple of seasons.

“This will definitely go a long way in giving us belief in the system that we can actually achieve greater things,” Nkwe said.

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