LONDON – If it is up to Ottis Gibson, he will still be the man in charge of running the nets when the Proteas head off to India in a few months’ time.
“Of course I want my job.” the West Indian said. “I love my job - we’ve started planning for the tour to India.”
Unfortunately for Gibson, that ball may not be solely in his court anymore. Even though he was speaking just moments after inflicting yet another defeat on Australia - Gibson has only been on the winning side in Test and ODI series battles with the Aussies - the reality is that the Proteas won just three matches altogether in an awful World Cup campaign.
Considering Cricket South Africa’s chief executive Thabang Moroe’s much-publicised statements that Gibson’s mandate upon appointment was to win the World Cup, before later adjusting it to qualification for the final, then logically the Bajan is only returning to South Africa today to be informed of his dismissal.
Independent Media, though, understands that there is in fact no such clause in Gibson’s contract and that it indeed runs until mid-September. The Proteas are scheduled to face Virat Kohli’s India in the first T20I on September 15 in Dharamsala.
“I have to hear from them (CSA)” Gibson said. “The contract was always until mid-September 2019 and then we will work out what happens after that. Of course we have had a very disappointing World Cup if you take the tournament in isolation. You might feel there is a need for change. But if you look at what has happened in the last two years you will also think that we’ve done some good things.
“We’ll have to wait and see how CSA look at the whole picture.”
Gibson will hope his employers discuss his future with one of the leading stakeholders, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis. Although the latter’s own leadership future is equally uncertain, there’s no doubt who Du Plessis wants at the steering wheel.
“I would really want Ottis to stay on,” Du Plessis said. “As coach and captain, we have a very good relationship, so I hope so.
“There’s a T20 World Cup next year in October and November in Australia and both of us planned to be there for that and this World Cup ... that’s still how I see it. One of the challenges with a new coach is that he needs time to build relationships.
“I’ve invested a lot in Ottis and he’s invested a lot in me for us to learn to know each other, and for him to build a relationship with the other players.”
Gibson wholeheartedly accepted that South Africa’s disastrous campaign was due to lack of performance in the UK, and did not entertain notions that he was not provided with sufficient support to help bring the trophy home.@ZaahierAdams