Enoch Nkwe, South Africa’s newly appointed interim team director, is drawing inspiration from football manager Pep Guardiola ahead of his debut assignment: a tour of India.
“I understand that it’s going to be a big challenge [the India tour], but I strongly believe that we can really make an immediate impact. And if it doesn’t happen, it’s not going to be the end of the world. There’s always a big picture to everything,” Nkwe told reporters.
Nkwe, who is currently in a temporary role, believes that the Proteas are good enough to bounce back, despite experiencing a disappointing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, where they managed only three wins in nine games. For the India tour that begins in September, South Africa have brought in three uncapped members to the Test squad, while Quinton de Kock will get a shot at captaincy in the shortest format.
“As a coach I strongly believe that every challenge is an opportunity. Certain things could take a while, and I don’t know how successful we can be in a short period of time, but I believe that we can make a quick turnaround. I strongly believe that we have the players to. But we need to identify the areas that held back the team not to perform to their full potential, and get them to perform as soon as possible,” he said.
“More details will come out in the near future with regards to what the big picture is going to be, so that everyone can start understanding what the actual plan is going to be post-Cricket World Cup. From my side, it’s very exciting, and I’m looking forward to this trip,” he said.
The 36-year-old Nkwe draws inspiration from Spanish football manager Guardiola, who currently heads English Premier League club Manchester City. In his first season as Barcelona manager, Guardiola, then 38, guided the team to the UEFA Champions League title in 2009, the youngest ever to do so.
“He’s on another level. Just watching his growth over the years, having started coaching one of the biggest clubs in the world at the age of 37, it really did motivate me that, if he can do it, it is possible,” he added.