DURBAN – For the last six months, Russell Domingo must have felt like a husband whose marriage is slowly but surely withering away.
His cricketing ‘wife’ – the ultimate boss – had already told him at the start of the new year that she wanted to see other people, but still intended on going with him to London for a final fling.
Dutiful Domingo went to London, honouring what was left of the vows. Over there, even the ‘kids’ could sense that something was amiss, and they behaved erratically.
On arrival back home on Thursday, Faf du Plessis informed media that the Proteas team had been told that the recommended man to take over Domingo’s role was the current England bowling coach, Ottis Gibson.
There was no official update from Cricket South Africa (CSA). No tweet, no Facebook relationship status at least confirming that things with Domingo have moved from ‘it’s complicated’ to single.
These things may seem like mere formality, but they matter. And, the reason they matter is because they speak of respect for the man vacating the post.
Respect, or ubuntu, in one of our many languages. It’s a big thing in a cricket world that is getting ever smaller.
CSA have been so kind as to respect the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and wait for them to tie up their loose ends with the recommended one.
But they have not bothered with the same for Domingo.
In an age of wavering whims, T20 flutters and players who pick and choose from the cricket buffet, a touch of respect is never a bad thing.
You could sense from Domingo that the end was nigh, especially during the Champions Trophy.
After their exit against India, his shrug of the shoulders and mumbles spoke volumes about his state of mind.
It’s a wonder that he even bothered throwing his name into the hat, knowing his time was up.
Given the messy way that it is all ending, you’d like to think the recommended one has insisted on a respect clause in his contract, just in case things go south in a few years.
After all, for much of his time, Domingo had provided domestic – if not always international – bliss. He deserves better.
Du Plessis insisted that the Domingo affair was no distraction, and no excuse.
But it can’t have helped.
The Proteas leader also expressed hope that the whole Proteas management puzzle wouldn’t be dismantled, because the team have made strides with the incumbents.
Who knows what happens next?
These days, such updates pop up casually in post-mortem press conferences, at international arrival lounges on a Thursday morning.
Such is life in the fast lane.