Cape Town – New interim team director for the Proteas, Enoch Nkwe, says he would not have accepted the job if he didn’t believe he was ready.
The 36-year-old will lead South Africa on their tour of India that will include three T20s and three Test matches over September and October.
It is an obviously daunting task for a man with no coaching experience at Test level, but when addressing media at Cricket South Africa (CSA) headquarters in Johannesburg on Thursday the former Lions allrounder came across as composed and confident.
“If I really felt that I wasn’t ready to lead this team in the next two months, I would have said ‘no’ to the offer,” Nkwe, who coached the Lions to two domestic trophies last season, said.
“How do you say no to a national call-up?
“When this opportunity came, I just couldn’t say ‘no’. I’m extremely motivated and excited.
“I didn’t expect it to come so soon, but how I’ve always worked is to really push myself on a yearly basis and to be in a position if an opportunity comes where I can be ready.
“I strongly feel that with my recent experiences over the last year and with the environments I was thrown into, that gives me a lot of confidence to lead this team to success in a short period of time.”
Nkwe has served as assistant coach to the Netherlands national side while he has also worked with some big-name players as assistant coach to the Vancouver Knights in the Global T20 Canada Series.
This, though, is a different level entirely and one that is very firmly in the South African spotlight.
Nkwe added that he will be applying for the role of full-time team director to take the side beyond the Indian tour, while he also thinks immediate success on the subcontinent is possible.
“The focus is for the Indian tour. We want to make an immediate impact. It is going to be tough, but we know in the back of our minds that there is a bigger picture.”
“I don’t feel that it’s a suicide mission. I was asked a similar question when I took over the Lions. I strongly believe that every challenge is an opportunity to thrive. It’s important that we as team management create that thriving environment as soon as possible.”
South Africa’s T20 series against India gets underway on September 14 while the Test series starts on October 1.