Mpitsang Charged With Unearthing South Africa's Diamonds > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Mpitsang charged with unearthing South Africa's diamonds

In the wake of South Africa's disastrous 2019 World Cup, where they lost five of their eight completed matches, Zondi's committee was dissolved but not replaced.

In the wake of South Africa's disastrous 2019 World Cup, where they lost five of their eight completed matches, Zondi's committee was dissolved but not replaced.

Victor Mpitsang has big shoes to fill. Good thing his feet have, at the age of 40, been hardened by an already long walk in the game. The former fast bowler was named South Africa's new convenor of selectors on Wednesday (October 21) and is the first person to hold the position full-time.

He succeeds the popular and largely successful Linda Zondi, who had been a senior national selector since June 2013 and the convenor since June 2015. During Zondi's time at the helm South Africa won 28 of their 48 bilateral series across the formats and lost 17, but in three white-ball tournaments they won only six of their 15 completed games and failed to reach the knockout stage. Before all that Zondi led the panel that picked the squad that won the 2014 under-19 World Cup - South Africa's only success on the global stage since the 1998 ICC Knockout.

In the wake of South Africa's disastrous 2019 World Cup, where they lost five of their eight completed matches, Zondi's committee was dissolved but not replaced. In December he was brought back as interim convenor until April. In September he claimed he had been denied a fair shot at keeping the position after being omitted from the shortlist of candidates.

Mpitsang, currently the under-19 convenor, will be in the chair from November 2, a CSA release said. His first task will be to supervise the selection of the squads to play England in white-ball series in South Africa starting next month.

Injury limited Mpitsang's international career to two ODIs, and he retired in 2012 having taken 245 wickets at 29.80 in 103 first-class matches. He stayed active, first as a schools scout, then as the bowling consultant for South Africa's women's team, a selector at universities level, the assistant coach of the boys' under-19 side, and as a television commentator.

"For the last eight years since my retirement I have consciously looked to learn as much as I can about this game and I have put in many hours gaining that knowledge and experience," the release quoted Mpitsang as saying. "When you retire from playing you always hope you can stay in and around the game somehow and make a positive contribution in some way no matter how small."

Director of cricket Graeme Smith was quoted as saying: "The role... is an incredibly important one, which is why the process of appointing the eventual candidate has taken so long. We needed to be certain that we have left the role in the safest hands possible and Victor's credentials speak for themselves. He has made it his business to know the ins and outs of cricket after his playing days, from [junior cricket], all the way to the senior Proteas men's and women's teams. His experience as a coach in our various development programmes means that he has the kind of knowledge and context that was crucial in our chosen candidate."

It can't hurt Mpitsang's chances of making a success of the job that he is from Kimberley, a dry and dusty city on the country's central plateau. Life there is hot and hard, and the supply of diamonds that used to be mined in the district have long since dried up. You need strong shoes to stride its wide streets, and to make it out of there before the sun and the slowness have sapped your energies.

Mpitsang has done that. Now for his next trick: walking the straight and narrow in a post that can lead even the most level-headed down dark and dangerous paths, never to be seen sane again. CSA can and has done that to too many to mention. So, before taking his first steps, best Mpitsang check his shoelaces are tied. And not to each other.

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