JOHANNESBURG – Russell Domingo was among the candidates interviewed by Cricket South Africa this week for the Proteas head coach position, Independent Media understands.
It is believed Domingo, who rejoined the South African squad in England on Friday, did ‘reapply’ for the position he currently holds, but has been reluctant to state so publicly, owing to what he understood was the confidentiality of the process.
Thus far, only Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana has publicly indicated that he applied for the position, and he was also among candidates interviewed for the position.
Domingo is back with the Proteas squad in Worcester, where they are playing a three-day game against the England Lions. He’d flown to South Africa last week to be at his mother’s side after she was involved in a serious accident.
In recent months, Domingo has been reluctant to outline whether he’d applied for the position, choosing to leave all comment to Cricket SA.
The organisation had announced in February that it was starting a procedure to find the next Proteas coach.
Domingo was first appointed in 2013, and has had his contract renewed twice since – most recently last October, when it was extended to the end of the current tour to England.
Last month, CSA appointed a five-man panel – that included former national coaches Eric Simons and Gary Kirsten – to screen and recommend a suitable candidate. Hitherto, only Toyana has made it known that he has applied.
Since CSA announced it was seeking the next Proteas coach, Domingo has received strong support from both Proteas captains Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers.
Speaking during the recent ICC Champions Trophy, where South Africa failed dismally in the group stages, De Villiers said: “We’re with a great coach at the moment who is really leading the side well. We all get along with him, and we all love him as our coach.”
Asked if he wanted Domingo to stay on as the Proteas coach, De Villiers’ reply was emphatic: “Yes, definitely.”
Meanwhile, South Africa’s batsmen gave themselves a timely boost in confidence ahead of next week’s first Test against England at Lord’s as they dominated the second day of their warm-up game against the England Lions at New Road.
There were half-centuries for Heino Kuhn – who is set to open the innings at Lord’s – Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock.
Kuhn and Amla shared a stand of 189 for the second wicket before both retired ‘not out’, with Kuhn having scored 80 in just under three hours at the crease and Amla 91.
Bavuma and De Kock – whose partnerships last summer in Australia and New Zealand were instrumental in the Proteas’ success in those countries – shared a stand of 82 for the fourth wicket, with De Kock making a sprightly 51 off just 58 balls, while Bavuma was not out on 85 in the final session of play.
Of concern to the Proteas will be the lack of time at the crease for JP Duminy and Theunis de Bruyn. Duminy spent just over half-an-hour at the crease to score 25, while De Bruyn lasted just five minutes and got a duck.
De Bruyn is set to occupy Du Plessis’ position in the middle-order should the Proteas Test captain not make it to Lord’s next week.
Cricket SA confirmed on Friday that there was no guarantee that Du Plessis would be ready for the first Test following the birth of his first child.
“It was a difficult birth, and he will only fly back to the UK once the baby and mom (Imari) were settled,” said a spokesperson.