DURBAN – The search for the next South African coach may end at the door of the English change-room, if reports emerging from the UK are to be believed.
Independent Media understands that former coach Gary Kirsten has been batting for the services of current England bowling coach Ottis Gibson, who is a familiar face in South African cricket.
The Daily Mail reported that Gibson could become South Africa’s first black coach, after Cricket South Africa (CSA) approached him for the position.
It is understood that Kirsten was at the first Test at Lord’s, where he spoke privately to Gibson, but was still awaiting information regarding clauses in Gibson’s contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The process to replace Russell Domingo as head coach has been under way for months, ever since CSA announced that Domingo would have to apply for his position again, at the end of the current tour of the UK.
Domingo belatedly threw his name into the hat, but CSA may be now looking to head in a new direction.
Independent Media also understands that South African bosses cast the net further afield when they were not overly convinced by the calibre of candidates at their disposal locally.
The 48-year-old Gibson, a former Border, Griquas and Gauteng fast bowler back in his playing days, may well be convinced to shift from being in the background to taking a key position in the cricket world.
Though his expertise is in the bowling department for England, his worldly playing experience, as well as his understanding of the South African cricket landscape, make him an intriguing option for a Proteas side that have looked distracted for much of their UK trip.
In response to the rumours, the ECB were quick to put out the following statement: “We have had no approaches to any of our staff, and will not listen to any approaches until the end of the current series.”
The series between South Africa and England ends at the conclusion of the current Test in Manchester, which started on Friday.