AB de Villiers is trying to stay positive about the future health of South African cricket, but admits the local game will need to find its own Rassie Erasmus-type figures.
“I see plenty of Rassies around,” the legendary Proteas batsman said on Tuesday.
“I’m pretty sure (interim Proteas team director) Enoch Nkwe will be the first to say ‘I’d love to have the experience and inputs of a Mark Boucher or Jacques Kallis or Graeme Smith. Get those guys involved. It’s a no-brainer.
“I’m not sure how those puzzle pieces will fit in and how the ins-and-outs will work, but one can determine that.”
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South Africa’s ugly Test series whitewash at the hands of India last month laid bare the realities facing the national team, with a lack of depth among the players and a shortage of intellectual capital from local coaches being chief concerns.
De Villiers, currently in the Tshwane Spartans squad for the Mzansi Super League, cited the example of England putting former Test captain Andrew Strauss in charge of spearheading their long-term plan of winning this year’s ICC World Cup.
“Have a vision‚ they have done it before and work on a three to four-year plan like Andrew did in the UK.”
While the 35-year-old stroke-maker, who retired from international cricket last year, still actively participates in T20 leagues around the world, he admits he’s more than willing to contribute in an advisory capacity.
In fact, De Villiers has been in regular contact with Nkwe.
“I would like to be involved but I am still playing and that renders it a different situation‚” he said.
“I spoke to Enoch before the tour to India and told him that whenever he wants to bounce off any ideas with me I am available. I actually touched base with him first when he was appointed as coach to congratulate him and from there we chatted regularly. I would like to be involved in any way.”
The Proteas should furthermore not only draw inspiration from the Boks’ World Cup-winning campaign, but also how they managed to turn things around in just over 18 months.
“There weren’t too many good feelings about the Boks a few years ago,” said De Villiers.
“And yet they managed to set things right. It’s really just about getting out there and playing good cricket, entertaining crowds and winning matches. That’s what it boils down to.
“No-one gave the Boks a chance, but they found a way to be stronger together as the Twitter hashtag went. They believed in each other and they became unstoppable.”
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