CAPE TOWN – Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson is set to overhaul his backroom staff, but will remain committed to an entirely South African support team.
After replacing Russell Domingo at the helm of the Proteas last month, the former West Indies all-rounder has already indicated that he would take over the bowling duties from Charl Langeveldt.
Gibson kept Domingo’s support staff together for the recent Bangladesh visit, but is now ready to leave his own stamp on the Proteas.
Independent Media understands current Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa will become Gibson’s assistant with Adrian Birrell, the incumbent moving on from his role.
Maketa has over the past two seasons revitalised the Eastern Cape franchise by taking a team with limited resources – the Warriors are the only local franchise of the six competing teams in the RamSlam T20 Challenge without a nationally-contracted player on their books – to both limited-overs finals last season.
The 37-year-old is also highly committed to Cricket South Africa’s transformation policies, with Maketa regularly exceeding the six players of colour target stipulated.
Maketa is especially passionate about providing opportunities to Black African players, as the Warriors often play four Black Africans instead of the mandatory three.
There will be changes to the batting department too, with former Proteas ODI batsman Dale Benkenstein replacing ex-national teammate Neil McKenzie.
It was believed that batting coach McKenzie would stay on as part of Gibson’s support team, especially after Quinton de Kock’s glowing appraisal of his mentor after a superb 168 against Bangladesh last month, but he too now looks likely to be replaced.
Benkenstein is understood to have developed a good relationship with Gibson during their time as professionals on the English County Championship circuit.
The former Dolphins captain returned to South Africa last year after leaving his post as Hampshire’s head coach due to “family responsibilities”.
Former Proteas batsman and Cape Cobras captain Justin Ontong is expected to fulfil the fielding coach role within the national team.
The Proteas have not had a specialist fielding coach for a long period of time, with only consultants called in on an ad-hoc basis during Domingo’s tenure.
Ontong’s appointment clearly indicates that Gibson has identified fielding as a major area for the Proteas to focus on, especially as they build up to the World Cup in 2019.
Spin-bowling coach Claude Henderson is expected to be lone survivor from the previous regime and will stay on in his current role.