South Africa's interim team director Enoch Nkwe looks up to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola for inspiration ahead of India tour

South Africa’s interim team director Enoch Nkwe says he will look to English Premier League soccer coach Pep Guardiola for inspiration during his side’s upcoming tour of India.

Reuters, Aug 15, 2019 19:15:04 IST

Johannesburg: South Africa’s interim team director Enoch Nkwe says he will look to English Premier League soccer coach Pep Guardiola for inspiration during his side’s upcoming tour of India.

Nkwe replaces West Indian Ottis Gibson, the previous head coach, for the trip which starts in September and includes three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals.

South Africas interim team director Enoch Nkwe looks up to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola for inspiration ahead of India tour

File image of interim South Africa team director Enoch Nkwe. Image credit: Twitter/@OfficialCSA

Nkwe’s role, though, is all-encompassing and marries the role of head coach, selector and team manager, with other members of the support team reporting directly to him — a similar role to that of a European-style director of football.

Nkwe, 36, told a press conference on Thursday that he was a big fan of Manchester City manager Guardiola and the way he creates successful environments.

“He is on another level. There are a lot of things you can learn from different sporting codes. I have followed his work and enjoy how he backs his philosophy, he always tries to set new boundaries and break new records,” he said.

“Seeing his growth, from coaching one of the biggest clubs in the world (Barcelona) at the age of 37, is an inspiration.”

Nkwe’s appointment drew criticism from some former national team players, given his relative lack of experience — he did not play international cricket — and despite his success coaching the Lions in the 2018/19 domestic season.

Nkwe, though, has had coaching spells as assistant with the Netherlands national side, on the Canadian T20 circuit and with the South African ‘A’ side, including a tour to India, and argues he has enough know-how to take the team forward.

“I don’t feel it is a suicide mission (in India),” he told reporters. “As a coach I strongly believe that every challenge is an opportunity. As management we need to create the right environment as soon as possible.

“I have just been in Canada working with some of the best T20 players in the world. Just to manage Chris Gayle is a massive task in itself!

“Being someone that is always open to new experiences and learning, the last year has been massive in my coaching career and as a person.”

Nkwe will be backed up by batting, bowling and fielding coaches who are expected to be former players with experience of playing or working in India.

“I will take full responsibility for how things unfold in India, but I like to create the environment where each coach has a say, learns and grows,” Nkwe added.

South Africa start the tour with the limited-overs matches, the first in Dharamsala on 15 September. The tests follow in Visakhapatnam (2-6 October), Pune (10-14 October) and Ranchi (19-23 October), the first for the team in the newly-formed ICC Test Championship.

Updated Date: Aug 15, 2019 19:15:04 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252