TELFORD VICE in Cape Town
POTCHEFSTROOM’S loss is Durban’s gain with the news that Heinrich Strydom is the new Dolphins chief executive.
Strydom, who currently is in the same position with the North West Cricket Union and is also the Lions’ general manager, takes over at Kingsmead on August 1, the Dolphins said in a statement on Tuesday.
Dolphins company secretary Rajesh Behari has served as CEO in an acting capacity since Pete de Wet left at the end of July to head up Central Districts in New Zealand.
The appointment isn’t the only wind of change blowing through Durban cricket circles, what with the franchise advertising for a financial manager.
But Strydom promised not to arrive wielding a bunch of new brooms.
“I am not coming in to change everything,” the statement quoted Strydom as saying.
“There are a lot of really good things at the Dolphins but I do believe that we can be in the top three franchises in the country.
“Having the chance to get this franchise into that position was one of the biggest draw cards for me.
“I want to spend some time just getting everything together and looking at all aspects of the business.”
Strydom has been a senior administrator for much of the past 10 years, even though he is only 34, and has helped make Potch a preferred venue for touring teams.
The Australians have asked to be based there and Spain sent their football team there ahead of their triumph in the 2010 World Cup.
Strydom’s efforts surely had something to do with Potchefstroom being awarded the first test in South Africa’s series against Bangladesh in September.
“Taking on a national franchise was always the next step for me and I am really looking forward to the challenge,” the statement quoted Strydom as saying.
But he could have his work cut out at Kingsmead, which had its outfield rated as poor after a rain-ruined test against New Zealand in August.
Durban has long battled unfavourable weather for matches at all levels and has suffered poor crowd attendance at tests.
The latter seems likely to cost Kingsmead the Boxing Day test, which is due to feature India next summer.
As an opening batsman Strydom played five first-class matches and two list A games for North West from January 2006 to January 2012.
He will take a memory from his playing days into his new role.
“It is an exciting prospect to work with Grant Morgan, a man I know quite well having played against him in a club champs final,” the statement quoted Strydom as saying.
That was at Centurion in September 2004, when Morgan – now the Dolphins coach – opened the batting for Pretoria High School Old Boys and Strydom did the same for North West University.
Morgan scored 16 and Strydom made 48.
But Morgan had the last laugh – Old Boys won by 38 runs.
Now they’re on the other side of the boundary, but still opening the batting in a sense – this time together.