CAPE TOWN – Despite still no official word from Cricket South Africa, Russell Domingo has accepted his fate with the Proteas.
Speculation has been rife that Domingo will be replaced as Proteas head coach by England bowling mentor Ottis Gibson, with even Test and T20 captain Faf du Plessis speaking candidly upon the national team’s return home from England a couple of weeks ago.
Officially, Domingo’s contract only expires on September 30.
But the 42-year-old, who reapplied for the Proteas head coach post, believes he will not be in the hot seat for the forthcoming home summer that features visits from Bangladesh, India and Australia.
“My time is done with the Proteas. It’s time to move on. I’ve had a wonderful six years with the national side. It is a part of my life that’s over now. I’m really looking forward to the next phase of my life,” Domingo told Independent Media at the T20 Global League draft.
It is still unclear in which capacity Domingo will be retained within CSA’s structures – if at all – after September 30, but South Africa’s first coach to lead the Proteas to a knockout victory at a major ICC tournament does have an immediate challenge ahead.
Domingo has been installed as the Pretoria Mavericks head coach for the inaugural T20 Global League, where he will continue his relationship with former Proteas ODI captain AB de Villiers.
Despite De Villiers’ much-publicised absence from the Proteas Test side over the past 12 months – with the 33-year-old only reaffirming his commitment to the national team across formats this past week – the pair enjoy “a good working relationship”.
“It’s good to work with AB again. I never thought I would work in Pretoria, SuperSport Park as a coach,” Domingo said.
“It’s very exciting. We have a good working relationship. We both know what we expect from each other. That will make it bit easier when we get going. We never know what’s around the corner, so definitely exciting times.”
During their time together with the Proteas, the Domingo-De Villiers alliance was never able to bring the coveted ICC silverware back home to South Africa.
Their best effort was the epic World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand in Auckland in 2015.
However, they achieved notable success in bilateral ODI series, particularly the 3-2 victory achieved away in India in 2015, with De Villiers – along with Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis – striking a brilliant century in the deciding match at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
All of this was ODI cricket, though, and Domingo believes the T20 format provides altogether different challenges.
“It’s T20 cricket. There are eight quality sides, 14 matches, there’s a lot that can happen. We haven’t even thought about that (winning silverware), but we’ll take it as it comes,” he said.
West Indies double World T20-winning all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was selected as the Mavericks’ International Marquee player in the first draft on Saturday night.