As a young UCT student and cricketer ,I was privileged to be coached and mentored by Duncan Fletcher.
Somehow he found a place for me in the UCT first team, alongside so many who would go on to great heights. Heaven only knows how, as there was some prodigious cricketing talent at UCT in those days.
In those early days, Duncan toggled between his normal day job and part time coaching, but like so many Rhodesian cricketers he had a certain kind of hardness.
To this hardness he coupled an astute ability to get the best out of cricketers – the best out of people – the best out of teams.
That is what great leaders do.
There was no going back for him.
Many would benefit from Duncan’s coaching and mentoring – including Jacques Kallis.
Then it was England who benefitted when he guided their resurgence in Test cricket in the early 2000s.
They would go on to take the 2005 Ashes series – the first England win in 18 years.
Whenever our paths did somehow cross, I always asked Duncan why did he not coach South Africa?
His answer was always a straight one:
“The time is not right “
It’s the same for Jacques right now.
The timing is not right as a consultant.
Jacques Kallis was the ‘Richie McCaw’ of SA cricket – he defined the word great – being Sustained Success and Significance – the 3 S’s.
Not only does Jacques’s record speak for itself as one of the greatest all- rounders to have ever played the game – he perfected the science and art of shifting between the mind states of awareness and concentration.
Jacques Kallis is a mind guru.
As Sachin Tendulkar once shared:
“The game needs fast hands and a still head.”
And that is why we need Jacques back in time.
We need to stop exporting our SA greats.
As for now, Jacques is just honing his skills.
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Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Author, Performance Consultant to Business & Sports Teams – and Life Coach to those on a journey to self-actualisation.
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