Ex-player turns winning coach

09 March 2014 - 02:03 By Feroz Shaik
STILL SCORING: Rivash Gobind played a key role in the Dolphins' Ram Slam T20 triumph
STILL SCORING: Rivash Gobind played a key role in the Dolphins' Ram Slam T20 triumph

At the age of 31, former Effingham Secondary School pupil Rivash Gobind of Durban is living his dream.

Since being appointed assistant coach of the Dolphins in 2012, Gobind has played a huge part in helping the Durban franchise to win their first trophy in eight years. T hey beat the Cape Cobras by two runs in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge final in Cape Town last month.

That enabled them to qualify for the Champions League T20, which will be played later this year.

"Apart from playing with my heroes like Shaun Pollock, Jonty Rhodes, Errol Stewart, Dale Benkenstein and Lance Klusener, as well as captaining the South African under-19 team in 2000, this has to go down as another highlight in my career," said Gobind.

He made his first-class debut for the Dolphins against Northerns in the 2001-02 season.

He scored 2282 runs at an average of 32.60, including five centuries, and had a highest score of 130 not out in 45 first-class matches. He also played in 38 domestic one-day matches, scoring 1018 runs before retiring at the age of 27. His highest score was 101 not out.

"I reached a stage where I was not a regular in the Dolphins team, hence my chance of playing at the highest level was not going to happen. It was at that stage I decided to quit as a player.

"Luckily, I had obtained my level two coaching certificate while still a player, and when Graham Ford took over as coach at the Dolphins there was an opening for a video analyst in the team. I applied and got the job. That is where the journey began."

The next step in Gobind's journey was when Ford was appointed coach of the Sri Lankan national team and the former hero of Kingsmead, Lance Klusener, took over as head coach of the Dolphins.

"During the winter of 2012, I was asked to look after the pre-season duties because Lance was away in India. When the position of assistant opened during that time, I applied and got the job.

"I play a major support role to Lance by organising the practice sessions, analysing the opposition and working on the tactical stuff and game plans. I also give my opinion when it comes to team selection."

Gobind said it was a "great feeling" to see players develop with whom he had worked - such as Kyle Abbott, David Miller and Cody Chetty - knowing that he had played a small part in their development.

"I also keep a close eye on amateur cricket and believe that the future of KwaZulu-Natal cricket is looking good. Many promising players are coming through the system," said Gobind.

"I always wanted to be involved in cricket and always had the aspiration of being a coach and maybe one day moving up to the next level of being a head coach."

In the meantime, he is happy contributing to the success of the Dolphins. With six rounds of the Sunfoil Series left, he will be preparing the team for the Champions League T20 in India later in the year.