JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa will have to move quickly to find the men’s national team’s next coach if it decides not to renew Ottis Gibson’s contract at tomorrow’s special board meeting.
In just over six weeks the Proteas head to India for a three-match T20 International series, which will be followed by three Tests that will form part of the inaugural ICC Test Championship.
If Gibson is removed when his contract ends in September a new Proteas head coach will not have much time to prepare the side for a tour to a region where South Africa has struggled. In the Test format in the last four years they failed to win their last eight Tests.
Complicating matters is that Cricket SA also want to appoint a Director of Cricket, who will be tasked with overseeing all national teams and drawing up a plan to build towards the 2023 World Cup. That person would presumably want to have some say in who gets to coach the Proteas.
Gibson, who was appointed in August 2017, was mandated to take the Proteas to the final of the 2019 World Cup. He and the team fell short in that regard, enduring a difficult tournament in which they won just three of nine matches, to be eliminated from the competition two weeks before the play-offs.
Over the course of his tenure Gibson achieved a winning ratio of 62% across the three formats, with his most notable achievements being the home Test series triumphs against India and Australia in the 2017/18 season.
However a Test series loss on home soil against Sri Lanka earlier this year and the failed World Cup campaign left a dark mark on his period in charge.
Gibson along with captain Faf du Plessis and the team’s manager Mohammed Moosajee all submitted reports about the World Cup that will form part of an ‘executive summary’ that the board will scrutinise tomorrow.
During a brief stop in Johannesburg following the team’s return Gibson said he’d very much like to continue as the Proteas head coach.
“I feel I have unfinished business,” he said. “The T20 World Cup is around the corner. We’ll see how conversations unfold in the next few weeks.”@shockerhess