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SJN hearings – Jacques Faul

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During his time as acting CEO, CSA appointed Smith, Boucher, Kallis and Harris while demoting previous head coach Nkwe

Dr Jacques Faul, the former acting CEO of Cricket South Africa (CSA), has admitted that the organisation got it wrong when they appointed mostly white male candidates to top jobs at the end of 2019.

Faul is the first person to have worked within CSA’s executive structures to give responding testimony at the Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) hearing. He spoke extensively about events in the weeks that followed former CEO Thabang Moroe’s suspension and the England tour to South Africa over the festive period in 2019 which saw several high-profile appointments made.

Faul admitted CSA did not anticipate how badly those appointments would be received and that, in retrospect, he would have done things differently. “The optics were totally wrong,” Faul said. “We should have been politically more sensitive. It’s something I regret. We should have been emotionally more intelligent around that. We struggled to fully anticipate the outcry and it was a huge outcry. We didn’t anticipate that we would be viewed as a white takeover. If I knew that this was going to be the sequence of events, I would not have taken the job.”

Things got immediately worse for CSA over the exclusion of Temba Bavuma, the only black African batter in the squad to play England. Bavuma had missed the Boxing Day Test through an injury but was then excluded for the next Test after recovering.

“I met his (Bavuma’s) dad in the President’s Suite at Newlands,” Faul said. “I met a father who I could see was hurt. I remember that feeling when the headmaster catches you doing something wrong. That’s how I felt. I felt we had done something wrong. I could see the pain.

“He said to me, ‘Do you think my son will play for the Proteas (again)?’ I said, ‘I think he will. I think he will be the captain of the Proteas.’ We had a very civil conversation. I could see he was disappointed. He was also trying to tell me that in this country when we do things like that, the majority of South Africans don’t appreciate it. When his son became captain, he phoned me and I heard the joy in his voice. For that, I am also thankful.”

Many of those with stories of exclusion have told them at the SJN but a notable absentee is Nkwe, who believed he would continue as head coach at the time Faul was appointed, only to discover eventually that he would not. “He was devastated that he wouldn’t be going on and he said no-one has spoken to him for six weeks (after the India tour),” Faul said.

CSA was undergoing its own turmoil at the time, with Moroe being suspended, and Faul eventually stepping in. Within three days of coming on, Faul did set up a meeting with Nkwe.

By that point, Faul had already overseen the signing of Smith as DOC, although he was not involved in the negotiations over Smith’s appointment or salary, and Smith indicated to Faul that he would appoint Boucher.

“I said to him (Nkwe) that it’s my understanding that he would not continue as head coach but we wanted him to be part of the coaching panel. I asked him if he would consider being part of it as an assistant coach. He didn’t agree right away.

“I spoke to Enoch’s advisor and he said Enoch was really hurt by the fact that he wasn’t being considered head coach. I could see he was hurt but I wanted him part of it for a few reasons. One is it’s good for continuity – he had just been to India and we realised in future Temba would play a bigger role and he got on well with Temba. He had all the qualities we wanted in a coach. I also don’t blame him for having an expectation. If you’re in an acting position you do have that.”

Nkwe, who Faul said was being underpaid as interim head coach earning “much less than what was budgeted for, even by standards in 2012,” eventually agreed to work under Boucher but has since resigned. He cited concerns around team culture in his parting statement but has not expanded on that publicly since. Initially, Nkwe was identified as a successor to Boucher, who has a contract until the end of the 2023 World Cup.

The duration of Boucher’s contract is also something that has come under scrutiny, because of its length. Appointed in chaotic circumstances, Boucher was given a deal that lasts more than three years, but Faul emphasised that the jobs given to members of the coaching staff were ratified by the board and in line with good corporate governance.

“When Graeme Smith requested Boucher as coach, Boucher wanted Charl Langeveldt as bowling coach, Justin Ontong as fielding coach and there were initial discussions of having Ashwell Prince as the batting coach, but he didn’t want to do it. I mailed this list to the board.

“Out of nine board members at the time, there were seven people of colour. There was only one objection and that was to the duration the coaching staff would be appointed. They usually get appointed from World Cup to World Cup. Angelo Carolissen (Boland president and board member) objected to the duration because Mr Smith only signed for four months and he was appointing people for a three-year period. Professor Stephen Cornelius then said it is best practice to appoint them for that duration. The appointment of all of that staff happened more or less the same way and it was approved by the board.

“And the appointments that were made for cricketing reasons. But I admit we got it wrong. There were too many whites involved in a short period of time. Was it procedurally unfair? Not at all. Did a black board approve it? Yes, they did. Should they have been wiser? I think so. We should have been smarter when it came to that.”

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent



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Eyes on David Warner, but Australia's biggest challenge will be when he's gone

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After being hit by injury last season questions have been asked about whether Warner can dominate Test cricket again



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Darren Gough set to be named as Yorkshire’s director of cricket

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Former Yorkshire fast bowler to be unveiled on Monday after answering call to help club

Darren Gough is set to be unveiled as Yorkshire’s new director of cricket, as the club embarks on a rebuilding process in the wake of last week’s sacking of the existing coaching and medical staff.

Gough, 51, is expected to announce the appointment on his talkSPORT radio show on Monday, as he prepares to put his media career on hold to help shore up the foundations of his former county, in the wake of Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism and the extensive fall-out that has followed.

As one of the most popular players in Yorkshire’s history, Gough claimed 453 first-class wickets in 15 years with the club, during which time he also picked up 229 wickets in 58 Test appearances for England, before finishing his career at Essex, where he still lives.

He is seen by Lord Kamlesh Patel, the club’s new chairman, as the ideal man to help heal the deep divisions at Yorkshire, as he steps into the role vacated by Martyn Moxon on Friday – one of 16 members of the back-room staff axed in a dramatic statement of the club’s determination to put the racism scandal behind them.

That issue is unlikely to resolved without further revelations, however. The 16 players are expected to seek legal advice on Monday, after it transpired that several of their number had sent a joint letter to the Yorkshire Board in October, seen by ESPNcricinfo, outlining their deep unease at the club’s handling of the racism case, and its failure to rebut Rafiq’s extensive claims.

Gough has been involved in coaching on a consultancy basis since his retirement in 2008, including a stint with England’s Test squad in New Zealand in 2019-20, but his new role is expected to be focussed on strategy, planning, recruitment and development.



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Aus vs Eng, Men’s Ashes, 2021-22 – Alex Carey ready if Test debut comes

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A lean run in the Sheffield Shield has not dented the wicketkeeper’s confidence

Despite a relatively lean Sheffield Shield season Alex Carey feels he is well placed should he get the nod to be Australia’s wicketkeeper in the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba.
Thirty-year-old Carey, who plays for South Australia, is the frontrunner to fill Tim Paine’s position ahead of the highly-regarded Josh Inglis but insisted he has yet to be given the nudge from the selectors.

Inglis, along with fellow Western Australia team-mates Mitchell Marsh and Ashton Agar, flew back to Perth on Tuesday for a pre-planned few days back home and will rejoin the squad after a short break but it has been taken as an indication of the way the selectors will fall.

Carey has made just 153 runs in eight Sheffield Shield innings this season – with single-figure scores in his last five outings – but did crack a century in the Marsh Cup before heading to Brisbane. Due to his place in the T20 World Cup squad Inglis, who shot into contention after a superb 2020-21 domestic season, has only played one first-class match this summer.

“I’ve felt in a really good place,” Carey told RSN radio. “I feel like I’m hitting the ball well and although the runs didn’t come as I would have liked in the first part of the Sheffield Shield season I think consistently over the last couple of years I’ve been pretty solid.

“It wasn’t a case which end do I hold the bat, still felt like I knew what I was doing, and to get some runs in that one-day game is great. Nice to know what I was doing is still the right thing.

“I’ve done what I can so I’ll sit back and hope for the best.”

Carey is also encouraged by the philosophy of the current selection panel – headed by George Bailey – that they are not swayed by a small sample of recent results and look at a larger picture.

“Cricket’s a game where if you miss out in one game you are judged on that and you feel like everything is coming down on you but it takes one innings to turn that around and you are in great form again,” he said. “Justin [Langer] and George have played so many games and they know what it’s like and they’ve put a lot of trust and open communication with the players.”

Overall Carey averages 34.73 in first-class cricket with five centuries. He was due to be the reserve wicketkeeper on the postponed Test tour of South Africa earlier this year and last season took the gloves for Australia A.

Other selection calls Australia need to make ahead of the opening Test are between Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson – with Starc expected to retain his place – and which of Travis Head and Usman Khawaja bats at No. 5.

Australia’s intrasquad match which was due to start on Wednesday has been canceled due to the continued wet weather in Brisbane with players hoping to get some centre-wicket time if the rain clears over the next couple of days.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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