JOHANNESBURG - No pressure! Newly-appointed Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has nailed his colours to the mast as he sets his sights on returning the national cricket team to the top of the global rankings and winning the elusive ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019.
Speaking to the media for the first time on Tuesday morning in Sandton since he was unveiled as the Proteas’ new mentor last month, Gibson shared his coaching philosophy and his hopes for the side.
Gibson said his main philosophy was to take the team “to places they have never been before”.
The man from Barbados previously served as head coach of the West Indies, and was until recently the bowling coach of the England Test team.
“When I got involved with the West Indies, I was thinking where are we now, where do we want to be in future, where do we see ourselves? Do we see ourselves as world champions?” Gibson said at a press conference in Sandton on Tuesday morning.
“We have to look at where the team (Proteas) is and examine where they want to be, where do we want to go. We will talk a lot about 2019 (World Cup) because it is the pie in the sky, that is the goal.
“My philosophy certainly over the next two years is taking the Proteas back to the top of the pile first of all, then hopefully winning the World Cup.”
The 48-year-old is no stranger to South African conditions and culture after spending six years playing cricket here in the 1990s, including spells for Border, Gauteng and Griqualand West.
CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat welcomes the head coach to CSA. pic.twitter.com/OMLFd01EBf
The former West Indian paceman said he would rely on the crop of senior players in the Proteas set-up to return South Africa to the top of the rankings.
“I am lucky in a sense, the Proteas have been to number one in the world on a few occasions, and not very long ago, they were number one in the world,” Gibson said.
“We’ve got people in the team that knows what it takes to get to number one, and we need to make sure they still have that passion for the game.”
Gibson has requested that the Proteas players feature in the opening Sunfoil Series matches, which take place on Tuesday, ahead of the start of the home series against Bangladesh on September 28 in Potchefstroom.