Photo Credit: Dolphins Cricket
The KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU) has renewed the contract of current Chief Executive Officer Heinrich Strydom for a further five years once the current contract comes to an end in 2022, keeping him at the helm of the Union until July 2027.
Strydom joined KZNCU from the North West Cricket Union and Lions franchise in 2017, and has been the driving force behind taking KZNCU to the pinnacle of the CSA Affiliates as well as seeing the playing arm of the union produce historic results on the field.
“I am extremely grateful to the KZN governance structures for granting me the opportunity to continue on this journey,” Strydom said. “We have definitely moved into a better space during the four exceptional years that we have experienced as a Union, and we will continue our relentless pursuit of excellence.
“One of my mentors, Jacques Faul, taught me that we are merely temporary custodians of this beautiful game and we need to leave it in a better space than what we found it in.”
Over the past four years KZNCU continued to be a strong feeder to the Proteas men and women teams and other provinces, and amassed seven national titles which included most recently a historic victory in the CSA 4-Day Domestic Series. The women’s team has also made significant strides and is now in a position to challenge for titles.
Strydom’s administrative impact has been significant for the Union starting from when they won the Most Improved Union award in 2018 to being crowned the number one affiliate by Cricket South Africa, winning a total of thirteen incentive awards during the period which included awards for governance, finance and administration, strategic focus, youth cricket and the very successful RPC/hubs programme.
The Union also received the prestigious KZN Sports Federation of the year award in 2019 at the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation Awards.
KZNCU commenced with Project Kingsmead in 2018, a project with the ultimate aim of enhancing the look and feel of the iconic Hollywoodbets Kingsmead stadium. KZNCU had to take over the administration of KZN Inland in 2017 and has been able to get the Pietermaritzburg-based Union back on track to the point where they are now busy with a process to regain affiliate status.
“The incredible support from the people of KZN has made for an exciting journey over the past few years,” Strydom added. “It has been an absolute privilege to work with a bunch of world class people including players and coaches, whilst the KZNCU board and the various Presidents have backed me all the way.
“My diverse management team, staff members and service providers, have been simply phenomenal and have added immense value over the years.
“All our partners have become like family, and our aim remains to continue building towards the potential juggernaut that KZNCU can become. We have created stability in many aspects, and will try and maintain the upwards curve.
“We will also enhance our focus on youth cricket and creating more opportunities for all that want to be part of our beautiful game. I am particularly excited about the recently launched Dolphins School of Excellence which aims at enhanced collaboration between all youth cricket stakeholders.
“On a personal note, even though I’ve missed my family, friends and colleagues from Potchefstroom and Johannesburg, Durban has lived up to its reputation as the warmest place to be, it has been really good to me as I got married, recently became a father and made some friends that will last for a lifetime.”
Recently elected president of the KZN Cricket Union Yunus Bobat praised Strydom for his efforts and knows that he will continue to strive to improve and build on the solid foundation that he has created at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium.
“The true calibre of his leadership is seen in his recent stint leading the Union through the pandemic,” Bobat said.
“Heinrich’s calmness, innovation and commitment to cricket, the Union and his staff ensured minimum impact on the Union’s finances and business sustainability and most importantly he protected the livelihoods of his staff with no retrenchments nor salary cuts being implemented.
“His ability to lead through adversity supports the Board’s decision to renew his contract.
“We are very proud of Heinrich’s growth and all the successes that he has lead KZN Cricket to in his first term as CEO. We believe that his vision has just set the foundation for many more successes to follow.”
The Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the Hollywoodbets Tuskers (previously Inland) begin their seasons with the CSA T20 Knock Out with the Tuskers playing from 28-30 September while the Dolphins play their group games from 8-10 October.