Ottis has got it all figured out for SA

Victory in 2019 in England part of the plan

06 September 2017 - 07:31 By TELFORD VICE
ON A MISSION: Ottis Gibson's first assignment as Proteas coach is against Bangladesh in two Tests this month.
ON A MISSION: Ottis Gibson's first assignment as Proteas coach is against Bangladesh in two Tests this month.
Image: Getty Images

It's the World Cup, stupid.

Whatever you think of Ottis Gibson's appointment as South Africa's head coach he knows why he has been hired.

"That's been a massive part of how [Cricket SA] pitched the job," Gibson said at a press conference in London on Tuesday.

"Every team wants to win a global tournament. South Africa has never won one and that's obviously one of their big things.

"You look at South Africa, you look at the players that they potentially [can] put on the field and there's no reason why they can't win the World Cup in 2019 here in England.

"That would be something great for me as a coach but more than that, great for the country. They have a very strong sporting culture in South Africa. So, to be able to do something like that would be amazing," he added.

Gibson will have keen insights into South Africa's trophylessness having played for Border, Gauteng and Griqualand West in the 1990s - and from guiding a West Indian team in deep decline to triumph at the 2012 World Twenty20.

"When I went back to the Caribbean we had the makings of a great team," he said. "We had all the players - the Indian Premier League superstars - but we had never won a T20 World Cup.

"There are a lot of things that I learnt from that [T20 World Cup] situation and... I believe when CSA did their search for a coach they felt I could be a person that would come in there and take the team forward."

Had he considered circumstances peculiar to South African cricket - using transformation to find the best players and absorbing the loss of those who choose Kolpak over country - before agreeing a deal?

"Every player would say he is making a decision for his family and when people say that they don't think they can get an opportunity and move on," he said. "That's something for CSA to look into."

Transformation? Not my problem, Gibson said. "Transformation was mentioned but it didn't have to be in my opinion because it's a government policy."

As someone will no doubt tell Gibson, black man, you are on your own.

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