South African skipper Faf du Plessis was really happy with the changes made in the South African cricket management and believes that it has had a positive impact on the team which helped them win the first Test against England. Cricket South Africa (CSA) was undergoing a period of upheaval as the players faced pay cuts due to problems like lack of funds, with some even wondering about canceling their national contract and playing in the United Kingdom (read: Kolpak deal).
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Ever since former Protea skipper Graeme Smith was appointed as the Director of Cricket for CSA and former wicketkeeper Mark Boucher got on board as the head coach of the South African team, there have been some positive changes in the mindset of the players. While Smith has been able to successfully negotiate national contracts with players like Dwaine Pretorius, Boucher has instilled positivity in the South African camp and du Plessis believes that this all has made his leadership easier, saying,
“We’ve got the right people in the right jobs at the top of Cricket South Africa. Leadership always comes from the top and filters down.”
The newfound positivity was evident in the body language of the players as South Africa beat England by 107 runs and put their first points on the World Test Championship table.
du Plessis asserted that his team can now fully focus on the game, now that they have some amount of trust in the administration.
“I feel it set the tone for the way that we are playing right now. That’s a start for us as a team. Now you can trust the system a little bit more and just focus on playing cricket."