Faf du Plessis lets slip West Indies all-rounder Ottis Gibson is the new Proteas coach
Proteas Test captain Faf du Plessis has given the strongest hint yet that current England bowling coach and former West Indies all-rounder Ottis Gibson could take over from incumbent Russell Domingo.
“As far as we know‚ it's been told to us that the decision has been made by the coaching panel‚" the skipper confirmed in Cape Town on Thursday.
"They've chosen Ottis Gibson as their recommendation and now that goes to the board and the board decides whether they want to use that recommendation or not.
“For me it was important‚ because I don't know Ottis‚ to try and find something out about him.
"I spoke to a few of the West Indian players because he was their coach and then I spoke to the English guys about their thoughts on him.
"I spoke to Ben Stokes‚ who said he was a very good bowling coach.
"I spoke to Eoin Morgan from a captaincy perspective‚ who said he was very good and a good guy.”
Domingo's contract has expired and the indication from the embattled coach was that he has not been re-hired despite re-applying for his position that was advertised in January.
Cricket South Africa have until end of the month to announce a new coach but Gibson is still tied up with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
England still have the Wisden Trophy engagement with the West Indies with the first test (a day night affair) starting at Edgbaston in Birmingham next Thursday.
Should Gibson get the job‚ he'll become the first foreign coach to take charge of the Proteas since re-admission.
The late Bob Woolmer played test cricket for England in the late 1970's and by the time he replaced Mike Proctor in 1994‚ he had been in South Africa for quite some time.
The 48-year-old from St Peter in Barbados featured in two tests and 15 ODIs for the West Indies between 1995 and 1999.
Ironically‚ his last test was against South Africa at Newlands in 1999 when the West Indies were on their way to a forgettable 5-0 whitewashing in the 1998/98 tour.
It was their first tour since they came through for the 1992/93 Total International Series which they won comfortably.
Du Plessis said it could take time to adjust to a new coach as Domingo was part of the coaching woodwork since 2011.
Domingo was Gary Kirsten's assistant before he replaced the former Proteas opener in 2013.
“The relationship from me from a captain and team point of view will take time‚ but as long as the person you put in place is someone who understands cricket in South Africa and what our culture is all about‚ it should be easy to get it going‚” Du Plessis said.
“The fact that the team knows Russell well‚ there are good relationships and the players trust him ... that's a good asset that the coach has.
"To lose that will not be nice.
"But the other side is that someone will come in with some fresh ideas.
"Maybe it is a good time for that‚ maybe not.”