JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa (CSA) hope to provide greater clarity today about a raft of changes announced yesterday morning pertaining to the men’s national team, including the axing of head coach Ottis Gibson.
While Gibson’s 62% win ratio across all formats during his two years in the job, is certainly commendable, it was the failure to take the team to the final of the World Cup which ultimately saw Cricket South Africa’s Board of Directors decide to part ways with him, a month before his contract was due to expire.
However it will be no simple transition to the next head coach. Cricket South Africa, following a short meeting with Gibson yesterday morning, announced a set of comprehensive changes that will affect how cricket in general and the national men’s team in particular will be run.
“This change will herald an exciting new era for the SA cricket and will bring us into line with best practice in professional sport,” CSA’s Chief Executive Thabang Moroe, said in a statement.
“I must stress that the new structure was not a rash decision. It was taken after much deliberation by the Board, taking all the factors into consideration about the current state of our cricket and also the plan that we need to get to within the timelines we have set.”
The two new positions, a club football style manager and a Director of Cricket, will be advertised immediately.
That new manager is a radical move away from the role traditionally held by the team’s manager, who oversaw administration and logistics. The new manager will in the mould of an Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, appoint the captain, the coaches and assistant coaches, the medical staff and the remaining administrative posts in the team.
Mohammed Moosajee, who’d been the team manager and doctor, and who’s contract was also due to end next month, told the Board he was not available for the management position.
The new manager will answer to the Director of Cricket, another job that will be advertised immediately, who will oversee the running of cricket operations and be involved in the drawing up of a strategy for the 2023 Cricket World Cup that will be played in India. The Director of Cricket, will answer to Moroe.
For now, Corrie van Zyl, Cricket SA’s Manager responsible for pathways (i.e Development and transformation) will fill in as acting Director of Cricket and as such will, in conjunction with Moroe, oversee the appointment of an interim management team and selection panel for the Proteas’ tour to India that starts next month. That tour will include a three-match Test series, South Africa’s first assignment in the newly established World Test Championship.
On Saturday night shortly after being named SA Cricketer of the Year, South African captain Faf du Plessis, lent his support to Gibson. Du Plessis said he’d love Gibson to stay on up to the World T20 tournament next year. “If I was asked my opinion, I’d say look at the T20 World Cup and if there is a plan for someone else, then after that (tournament) it would be a good time to take over,” said Du Plessis, who added that he had yet to sit down with CSA.@shockerhess