Du Plessis calls for focus on cricket amid CSA off-field problems

After a series of off-field issues for Cricket South Africa, Faf du Plessis has said that "the attention needs to be on the cricket".

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said it's time now "for a new start".   -  Getty Images

Faf du Plessis wants on-field matters to take centre stage for South Africa as it prepares to host England on the back of a tumultuous period.

Cricket South Africa's CEO Thabang Moroe was suspended as a "precautionary" move on Friday following allegations of misconduct.

Preparations for the Proteas' four-Test series against England have been hindered by a number of additional issues, including disputes with the South African Cricketers' Association, the loss of a major sponsor, and a ban on five journalists that was swiftly reversed.

Former captain Graeme Smith is set to be appointed as South Africa's new director of cricket next week and Du Plessis believes attention must turn to the playing XI.

"Obviously a lot has happened but now it's a new start," the skipper was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

"There's not much time before the English series so now it's about putting our focus back on to the team, making sure that the Test team gets all the things that are required for us to be successful.

READ | Cricket South Africa puts CEO on precautionary suspension

"It's been a little bit on pause the last two or three weeks, which is already too late, so we need to make sure in the next week things will start unfolding to make sure the Test team gets the most attention. The last two weeks there hasn't been much attention on that so that is what we will try and drive over the next week.

"Now it's about moving forward. I am a firm believer that it's time for us to look ahead from all this crap that's been happening behind the scenes. It's about making sure that the players are focused on the cricket side of things. It's about getting focus on what's really important now, which is a Test series against England.

"There's too much negative stuff that's happened over the last four or five weeks and our cricket is too strong to have so many issues all the time. We are too proud a cricketing nation to be talking about this stuff all the time. The attention needs to be on the cricket and making sure we will build ourselves as a team and ourselves as an organisation to be great again."

The first Test between South Africa and England begins on December 26 at Centurion.

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