The Multiply Titans, Northerns Cricket Union and Northerns cricket players dominated the stage and the ovals the past season. They won 17 trophies at the Cricket South Africa Awards on Saturday and received the ultimate accolade as they dominated the CSA Incentive scorecard, winning the so-called domestic Oscar for operational excellence for a third successive year.
The CSA Incentive scorecard awards members who exceed in delivering the basic activities and compliance requirements of the CSA operating and funding objectives.
Northerns finished top overall in category one and also finished either top or joint top in four of the five functions in category two that covers Finance and Administration, Governance, RPC and Hubs, Provincial Academy and Player Performance Plan and Youth Cricket.
Of the 17 awards claimed by the Titans and Northerns at the CSA Breakfast Awards and Evening Awards respectively, Quinton de Kock captured five while Aiden Markram was named Newcomer of the Year. Henry Davids clinched the Momentum One Day Player of the Year award. The two Marks, Mark Boucher (Multiply Titans) and Mark Charlton (Northerns) achieved ovations as decorated domestic coaches of the year.
Jacques Faul, Chief Executive officer of Northerns Cricket Union, under whose watch the Multiply Titans won six of the final 12 franchise titles on offer, was quick to applaud the work by the coaching staff and by his predecessors whose foundational work he acknowledged.
“You must never forget the sensational work that was done by a president like Vincent Sinovich and a former CEO Elise Lombard,” said Faul.
“If it is true that it takes a village to raise a child, it is equally true that it requires coaches, support staff, administrators, youth coordinators, operating officers and an entire board to develop cricket champions, unions and franchises.
“Volvo Masubelele and Eddie Khosa were immense in expanding transformation structures and in identifying rich talent in the Northerns area.
“Patricia Kambarami, as former Chief Operating Officer, possessed the vision and strategic insight which enabled the Titans to help develop properties into marketable entities.
“Obviously our commercial partners have enabled us with their excellent support to almost reach a pinnacle in the proud history of this franchise and Northerns Cricket Union,” Faul added.
“Boucher and Charlton both received accolades as coach of the year. Boucher said at the start of the season he wanted each payer to become 15 % better, and not only has this become a reality, but he has also been one of the pivotal figures behind the achievement of a domestic double.”
As franchise coach, Boucher dealt with setbacks better than most and never blinked or panicked. When the Multiply Titans lost a few matches in a row in the CSA T20 Challenge, he sensed they needed a break and the replenished Titans won their remaining matches and the T20 Title.
When players had a bad day of the office, he was able to offer perspective and advice that transformed them into match-winning champions. His people skills and strategic qualities deserve high praise, said Faul.
Charlton was at the helm of Northerns who claimed the CSA Provincial One-Day Cup and shared the spoils in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup.
“Many of the players who will ply their trade as fully fledged professionals in the 2017/18 season have been nurtured, developed, matured and have seen a dramatic improvement in their performances, thanks to the selfless work of Mark Charlton. He is a big picture champion who wants to help create future South African players,” Faul said.
Albie Morkel is more than an inspirational captain who makes instinctive decisions superbly and inspires players to new heights. He led from the front during the Momentum One Day Cup and CSA T20-Challenge campaigns. In the 50-over competition he hammered 351 runs at an average of 50.14.
Henry Davids, meanwhile, was a seminal figure in our sensational turn around in the four-day arena the past three seasons.
“Henry has enjoyed the respect of the players and has been very forthright, yet phlegmatic in dealing with his colleagues. When the final match of the 2015/16 season required an extended spell from Rowan Richards, Davids inspired him, encouraged him and told him he could deliver the knock-out blow. The rest is history. Walters nipped out 7-40 and the Titans won by 10 runs to clinch the Sunfoil Series.
Johan Muller as Manager of Cricketing Operations has, with Eddie and Volvo, fulfilled the behind-the-scenes roles of identifying the next generation of champions.
Pipeline structures and successful succession plans are not only birthed on paper, but become a reality when people like Muller, Khosa and Volvo work tirelessly to accelerate the growth of young athletic talent.
“It was a wonderful year and we are obviously very proud of our achievements - having won four trophies in one season.
“Yet, we are especially ecstatic about the operational award as winner of the CSA Incentive Scorecard,” Faul said.
“Our processes contributed to our success, but we want to remain humble and ask ourselves frankly where there are short-falls that we must address.
“We have honoured and meticulously managed operational values and that assisted us in achieving success.
“The team ethos had been splendid, even before Mark Boucher, who has been very good for us, joined.
“We have put the team first and we have remained competitive by operating cohesively.
“Credit must go to Rob Walter, Mark’s predecessor, as well.
“No achievements happen by chance or instantly. Therefore we need to celebrate the great work done by our predecessors when Elise and Vincent were there.
“There were processes that set up the successes of the past two seasons in which we achieved the domestic doubles,” he said.
“Our acquisitions like Chris Morris and Quinton did us proud as they also evolved while at the Titans. Both assisted us in winning trophies and that is great for the franchise.
“Without all the stakeholders, the heads of different departments at the Titans, the champions off the field in the SuperSport Park offices, the wonderful commercial partners and the stars on the field who worked meticulously in unison, the achievements would not have been forthcoming.
“Yet, we have to be honest. Other franchise could have won some of the trophies. We must stay humble and grounded and continue to focus on excellence in our quest for more success,” said a proud Faul.
“We have a few days to celebrate and then the work start in earnest to improve our performances by another 10 % so that we can retain our foothold domestically and advance to our ultimate goal of winning all three trophies in one season,” Faul concluded.