KwaZulu-Natal Cricket is celebrating another cherry on the top of a successful season, with the news that both provincial coaches, Shane Burger of Inland and Roger Telemachus of the Coastal side have been nominated for the Provincial Coach of the Year awards to be presented on Saturday.
Both semi-professional outfits ended the season winning titles, and as Burger points out, both coaches being nominated is yet another first for the Union.
“It is a wonderful feeling at the end of a really successful season to be nominated along with Roger (Telemachus),” said Burger, speaking from the national High Performance Academy in Pretoria.
“As Inland we did well in all formats, and the success at the Africa Cup T20 competition probably helped,” he said.
“As a coach getting nominated for awards is unusual, because all we do as coaches is create opportunities for our players. Once they are on the park, it is up to them
“We were delighted with our season, given that we had a constantly changing squad, and we gave opportunities to youngsters who really delivered.
“There are some important signs you can read into this season,” he added. “It is no coincidence that the professional franchise has been successful at the same time as the two semi-pro teams.
“This season there has been far more, and better, communication and interaction between the franchise and the two semi-pro teams.
“That is so important because we are ultimately the primary feeder for the franchise. My relationship with (Hollywoodbets Dolphins head coach) Grant Morgan has been fantastic, and I know Roger feels the same.
“The communication has been good and we have far better structures in place than we have ever had. All of which bodes really well for cricket in the region going forward,” he said.
“I am not fussed if either Roger or myself win the award to be honest,” he added. “It is just great to be part of a winning culture in KZN cricket.
“Winning is one thing. The trick is to keep on winning. That is the tough part,” Burger concluded.
Heinrich Strydom, the CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union said that both coaches had made exceptional contributions during the past season.
“They both really deserve the recognition they are getting,” said Strydom. “As coaches they are responsible for not only the training of the pool of players at their disposal, but for the attitude and the way their teams play the game.
“One of the hallmarks this season has been the brave cricket and the guts and tenacity that we have seen consistently from both semi-professional teams, and that starts at the top.
“These two latest awards are not just a great way to look back on the past season, but as we prepare for the coming season, this gives everyone an extra boost of confidence,” he added.
Strydom confirmed that both Burger and Telemachus have had their contracts with the Union renewed for the coming season.
The Award ceremony takes place in Sandton on Saturday morning.