Why the Proteas’ new coach might as well be Otis Redding
The Proteas’ new coach might as well be Otis Redding.
At least that’s how detached‚ in a generational sense‚ some of the younger Proteas are to the 48-year-old who has replaced Russell Domingo‚ Ottis Gibson.
Gibson was on Wednesday officially confirmed as the new coach even though news of his appointment had long been in the public domain.
Still‚ for players like 22-year-old quick Kagiso Rabada‚ the new coach may as well be a member of the Gibson brothers.
“I actually haven’t seen him play or worked with him. I hear he is nice to work with and I hear he was a good bowler‚” Rabada offered when asked about the Bajan.
“There are a lot of things being said about him. A lot of good things. Hopefully he can make a good impact on the team.”
Rabada‚ though‚ was clearer about what he expects from the national coach.
“Someone who understands the game. Someone who passes his learning on to you. I hope the team learns quickly and wins trophies etc.”
Gibson‚ the strapping former fast bowler who played in two Tests for the West Indies‚ may‚ however‚ help elevate Rabada to even loftier levels.
His impact has been keenly felt in the England attack across two stints as bowling coach.
“I guess right now it is just a new and open-minded beginning. I guess hearing what other people’s perceptions are on the game‚” said Rabada.
Domingo’s demise had been mooted for a while and the defeats across all formats in England proved the last straw.
Rabada seemed a little cagey about the turn of events.
“I’m not sure if it was needed because I think we were doing well‚" he said.
"We haven’t done well in the last two months but that happens in cricket.
"I don’t think we were in a slump. We’ve had a great season."
A little earlier Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat stressed that Gibson’s appointment followed the recommendation of a five-man panel charged to produce the best candidate.
“There is new thinking we are bringing into the country‚" Lorgat said.
"Ottis has had a good run with the West Indies and with England.
"He played a fair amount of cricket in South Africa. He understands all the strategic imperatives that we as a country face. He knows the country.”
He said Gibson’s appointment runs up until the Cricket World Cup in mid-2019.
“It’s fairly standard to make appointments up until a World Cup.
"He will be the coach across all the formats. It will be his choice in deciding who will work with him as the remainder of the staff‚” he said‚ before later conceding CSA were unlikely to rubber stamp wholesale foreign appointments to the coaching and management team.
Lorgat said that splitting the coaching duties across the red and white ball formats was a consideration but ultimately they opted to go with one coach.
“We expect him to arrive here in mid-September because his final engagement with the England team finishes on the September 11.”
Domingo‚ Lorgat confirmed‚ will be the new A-team coach.
“I must also thank Russell. He kept the team in a great space‚ culture and the way we played our cricket.
"By far the majority of our results were satisfactory.”