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Dutch cricket coach Ryan Campbell keen to have Enoch Nkwe back

24 November 2021 - 17:38
Enoch Nkwe first joined the Proteas as interim coach and later as assistant coach in 2019.
Enoch Nkwe first joined the Proteas as interim coach and later as assistant coach in 2019.
Image: Isuru Sameera

Former Proteas assistant coach Enoch Nkwe could be back with the Netherlands if Dutch coach Ryan Campbell has his way.

Nkwe stepped down from his role as Proteas second in command in August after he raised “concerns about the functioning and culture of the team environment”.

The 38-year-old played five years of professional cricket in the Netherlands as an overseas player and later returned as assistant coach.

Campbell is a fan of the former Lions coach’s work.

“When I first got the Netherlands job in 2017, Enoch was my assistant coach,” said Australian coach Campbell.

“I spent a lot of time in my first year with him working and picking his brain, and obviously he was recruited to the Lions in Johannesburg and then the South African national team.

“Enoch is a very good coach. I actually did not realise that he was back in the Netherlands before I left, I would have been on the phone asking lots of questions.”

“I just think that Enoch has been a really good coach and another one who is out there and  wants to improve the game.

“I have already texted our high-performance manager a number of times saying that I think we need to find out about Enoch’s plans and see if we can bring him back within the Dutch cricket set-up,” Campbell said.

Campbell and his Netherlands team are in the country for a three-match ODI series against the Proteas that starts at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

The stakes are high as the three matches have 30 crucial Super League points — 10 for a win, five for a tie or abandoned match and nothing for a defeat.

The Proteas are expected to whitewash the Dutch 3-0, weather permitting, but Campbell said his team is here to compete and will not do down without a fight.

“We have obviously had a disappointing World Cup,” Campbell said of the Netherlands campaign in the United Arab Emirates. “It is one of those things and a few bad games of cricket does not define this group. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

The Super League, comprised of 13 countries, is the new qualification pathway for teams for the men's 10-team World Cup in 2023 in India.

The top eight teams, including host nation India, will automatically qualify while the other five countries will play in qualifiers with five other associate nations. Only two teams from the qualifiers will qualify for the World Cup.

While the Netherlands find themselves in a spot of bother at the bottom of the 13-team Super League, the South Africans are also worried about automatic qualification as they languish in ninth position on 34 points from nine matches.

A 3-0 clean sweep for the Proteas will see them climb to third.

Campbell is disappointed that the Super League will be scrapped after the 2023 World Cup. Only the top 10 ranked teams on the ICC rankings at a scheduled cut-off date will automatically qualify from 2027 onwards.

“Without being too political, the scrapping of the Super League after the 2023 World Cup is really disappointing for all Associate countries, but that is the decision that’s been made.

“We will have to make the most of this next year and half to play the [remaining Super League] fixtures against SA, England, West Indies and Pakistan as well as New Zealand and Afghanistan.”

Campbell believes the scrapping of the Super League is detrimental to developing cricket nations and minimises competition against the game’s best.

“Every Associate country now is wondering what is next, how do we play, where do we our fixtures come from, is the World Cricket League 2 going to stay in place?

“How do you get into the ranking league where you can compete for a spot in the 2027 World Cup? I think there are a lot of answers that we need to find and again this is only going to happen with time.”

Campbell said he has SA-born Colin Ackermann and Roelof van der Merwe to go to for “intimate knowledge” of the highveld conditions.

The second ODI will be at the same venue before the third and final moves to the Wanderers in Johannesburg.