Proteas coach awaits review
The board held a special meeting yesterday, when it assessed a set of reports about the Proteas’ dismal World Cup showing. That “executive summary” included reports about the tournament from Gibson and skipper Faf du Plessis.
Gibson’s contract, which ends in September, was set to include a clause stipulating that he had to take the South African team to the final of the tournament at least.
South Africa finished with just three wins out of their nine matches and were effectively eliminated from contention for the semi-finals with two weeks of round-robin matches still remaining.
Besides Gibson’s future, the board faces a number of critical decisions in the next few days, most notably the position of Director of Cricket. The post is seen as critical to helping the turnaround for the Proteas, who besides their failure in the World Cup also suffered an embarrassing home Test series defeat against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
The Director of Cricket will oversee all national teams and will draw up a long-term strategy looking ahead to the 2023 World Cup. The England Cricket Board provided a blueprint that Cricket SA could copy, when it appointed Andrew Strauss in that position in 2015 following England’s disastrous World Cup campaign in Australasia.
Strauss was granted extensive powers by the ECB to help the English team develop a ‘white ball’ strategy and the culmination of that work was seen at Lord’s last Sunday.
How much power Cricket SA will grant its Director of Cricket will form part of behind the scenes discussions in the next few weeks. Certainly if that person is to be responsible for national teams, he or she would want to have a say in Gibson’s future, if he is to be reappointed, or if a new coach is to be employed.