Ken Borland

By Ken Borland

Journalist


What Proteas must do to win T20 World Cup: ‘We have to back ourselves,’ says Nkwe

'We’ve been working on different models to help the players to get through and win a World Cup.'


Enoch Nkwe has been hard at work on Cricket South Africa’s pipelines since he began as director of cricket on July 1, but now the focus is shifting to ensuring the Proteas can win the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.

South Africa’s awful record at World Cups is not something Nkwe has shied away from, and he believes he has a plan to secure that long-awaited trophy.

“It’s been an exciting last couple of months, but we can’t hide away from the amount of work to come on our pipeline, which is our most important investment,” Nkwe said this week.

“But the focus is now on our men’s side, we want them to win the World Cup and we have to make sure their preparation gives them every chance of doing that.

“The challenge in the past has been how to confront knockout games, and we’ve been engaging with the coaches on how to overcome that. It’s actually pretty simple – when we get there we have to back ourselves.

“We need to stick to our identity and what has worked for the team, the system that’s in place. We’ve been working on different models to help the players to get through and win a World Cup,” Nkwe said.

Focus on attack

At this stage, that does not include recruiting the services of a sports psychologist, with the Proteas rather focusing on their strengths, like their powerful bowling attack.

“We’ve spoken to the coaches and we did look into whether we need a psychologist or not, but SACA [players’ union] also plays a role in helping individuals,” Nkwe said.

Also read: Nkwe and Boucher eager to ‘get the best out of each other’

“We believe in our blueprint and we speak a lot about pressure and how it’s about trusting the blueprint, whether we are coming from behind or we’re in front.

“We want to throw the first punch and then stay in control. We have impact players now like Rilee Rossouw and Tristan Stubbs who can take the game forward.

“Of course no coach or psychologist can walk on to the field and actually play, it’s up the players,” Nkwe said.

Also read: T20 World Cup – Return of Bavuma, form of Hendricks means selection headache