JOHANNESBURG – Ottis Gibson’s future as Proteas head coach will be dependent on the outcome of the World Cup, which his current contract stipulates he has to win.
“When he was hired, it was purely to win the (2019) World Cup, and his contract would be looked at after the World Cup,” Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe said on Wednesday.
“As things stand, he is not getting a contract extension if he doesn’t win the World Cup.”
Moroe explained that he had yet to talk to Gibson or CSA’s Board of Directors about Gibson’s future, but was hoping to do so at the next board meeting at the end of this month.
Gibson was appointed in August 2017 on a two-year contract, ending a stint as bowling coach with England.
Since his appointment, he has overseen a relatively successful run for the Proteas, especially in the Test format, helping the side win two high-profile series last summer against India and Australia.
The only mishap came away to Sri Lanka in July last year when the Proteas got spun out on “dust-bowls” in both Tests in Galle and Colombo, stretching their winless streak in Tests on the sub-continent to eight matches in the last three years.
Gibson and Proteas captain Faf du Plessis admitted they erred in not selecting a second spinner alongside Keshav Maharaj for the second Test in the Sri Lankan capital.
Gibson has also overseen the creation of a more aggressive game plan from the South African team across all the formats, encouraging the players to be more positive.
It’s been most notable – and very successful on home soil – in the Test arena, where the use of four fast bowlers in the latest series against Pakistan saw matches finishing comfortably within five days.
The 49-year-old Barbadian mentor has helped create depth in South Africa’s fast bowling stocks, which are looked upon with envy by the rest of the cricket world.
The only shortcoming for Gibson – besides the loss in Sri Lanka – has been the less than stellar form of the Proteas one-day team, but there is a good reason for that too. During Gibson’s tenure, he has used various ODI series to analyse personnel and combinations with an eye on the 2019 World Cup.
This week he revealed that South Africa had most of the components in place for that competition, although they remain short in one critical area – a No 7 batting all-rounder.
Gibson’s overall record across all three formats since taking over from Russell Domingo is a good one – 27 wins and 14 defeats.
His future, from CSA’s perspective, depends on what happens from May 30 this year, when the Proteas open the World Cup against hosts England at The Oval.
“I have had a few phone calls encouraging me to speak with and see if the board has changed its mind. I will do as asked. I have not sat with the board,” said Moroe.
“Personally, I am very happy with the work Ottis has done.”@shockerhess