A year into the job, a Master’s degree in Business and Administration and nine months into his marriage, it has been a whirlwind first year in charge for KwaZulu-Natal Cricket’s Chief Executive Officer Heinrich Strydom.
The first season in charge has been hugely rewarding for the Potchefstroom native, who took over the reins at KZN Cricket in his first franchise Chief Executive role after heading up the administration at the North-West Cricket Union.
The juggling act that followed was a tough one for Strydom who had to balance his work commitments with finishing his MBA through the North-West University.
“If I think back to January last year, I was happy with my job and into my final year of studies – it was manageable,” Strydom said. “Then all of a sudden moving to Durban, getting married and then having to finish my degree it became quite tricky!
“But looking back on it, it is hugely rewarding to know that I managed to push through and finish my degree.”
The official studies for Strydom are on hold following his qualification; however, his academic endeavours aren’t over just yet.
“We are busy with a Harvard Mentor programme through CSA and I am in the second year of that now. It is a bit of self-study so you can access modules as you go so it isn’t as taxing as my MBA where I had to go to classes and write exams.
“I am hoping to have that finished in the next year but whether I want to study towards a PhD, I’m not even thinking about that at the moment!” he added.
Strydom has been instrumental in improving the off-field governance at KZN Cricket and the union was acknowledged recently as the most improved union for the season at the CSA Awards, a direct reflection on Strydom’s influence over the past season.
“It feels like yesterday that I was standing in front of the media receiving my Dolphins shirt!” he laughed. “I guess time does go quickly when you are enjoying yourself and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved and I am humbled to be able to head this union.”
Controlling what happens off the field and making each employee of KZN Cricket perform at their optimum was a goal for Strydom, leaving the players to focus their energies on preparing and playing well.
“I feel that the better we are off the field the better we are on the field and if you have your administration in order it makes decisions for players easier whether they want to stay or come to KwaZulu-Natal.
“Creating that environment for players was crucial and now to have a guy like David Miller saying he wants to be a part of that is a testament to what we have achieved.”
The re-signing of Dave Miller is a big step for the Dolphins in terms of adding to that strong core of players. With no players leaving the franchise for the next season a settled squad is a key component to potential success.
“We wanted to create some stability amongst the playing group and with Dave and Kerwin (Mungroo) added to the squad as well as our coaching staff extending their contracts for another two, potentially three years, there is consistency there.
“In terms of staff, we made about 30 appointments last year and they have all come to the party so the stability is there, for me now it is focusing on attention to detail,” Strydom continued.
Including KZN Inland in the KZN Cricket family has meant that Strydom and his team are appealing to all areas of the province and they are trying to make themselves visible throughout the province.
“We have been to Dundee, Vryheid, Newcastle, Ladysmith, Ixopo and Mthubathuba, to name a few.
“It’s critical for us to be visible and this coming weekend we are going to Eston and next weekend we are in Port Shepstone.
“It is a project where we want to show the people out there that we care about their support,” he mentioned.