Why Cricket SA and Gibson weren't on same wavelength leading up to the World Cup

07 August 2019 - 15:50 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Ottis Gibson vacated his seat as Cricket SA head coach after the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Ottis Gibson vacated his seat as Cricket SA head coach after the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Image: Daniel Born

Cricket South Africa (CSA)  and former Proteas coach Ottis Gibson weren't on the same wavelength leading up to the Cricket World Cup‚ even though the erstwhile mentor was in line for a contract extension.

CSA chief executive officer Thabang Moroe said a contract extension for Gibson until 2021 was discussed with the CSA board and presented to the coach earlier this year.

However‚ the extension came with different elements‚ a key one being the transformation component.

Another one was Moroe‚ as the chief executive‚ having a final say in the make-up of the team.

The policy‚ one that has been controversial in the past‚ was subsequently put on ice.

The Proteas went on to have a disastrous World Cup campaign‚ winning only three out of nine games to finish seventh out of 10 teams.

“I first spoke to Ottis‚ then went to the board and I said to Ottis that I'd like to have the board look at his contract with a possible extension‚" Moroe said.

"Ottis said he looked at being employed until around 2021 and that's what I should suggest to the board‚ which I did.

"The board deliberated on that and the board said 'We agree that you can go ahead as CEO and extend the coach's contract subject to him agreeing to key specific pointers in his contract changing‚ like the Eminent Persons Group‚ communication and performance'.

“We went back to the coach together with the now acting director of cricket and communicated this to the coach‚ of which he said he couldn't immediately agree until he saw what his contract looked like.

"It's well documented now that the coach wasn't happy with the board wanting to activate the selection policy.”

Moroe said the perception of the board and him wanting to have a say in the make-up of the team wasn't true.

“The perception that was put out there was that the board‚ together with the CEO‚ was intent on interfering with selection‚ which wasn't true.

"To dispel the notion‚ we put the policy on ice. Because the coach wasn't agreeable to a few things‚ let's also rather put his contract on ice and judge him the same way we said we would and that was on the World Cup‚” Moroe said.

With the India tour looming in just over a month's time‚ Moroe couldn't confirm whether Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe was going to be roped in on an interim basis.

Nkwe won the CSA 4-Day Franchise Series and the T20 Franchise Challenge with the Lions while also winning the inaugural Mzansi Super League with the Jozi Stars.