World Cup-win­ning ex­pe­ri­ence gave Gib­son the edge says Si­mons

Stabroek News Sunday - - SUNDAY SPORT -

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, CMC — Ot­tis Gib­son pre­vailed over other can­di­dates for the South Afr­cia head coach­ing job, due to his 2016 World Twenty20 vic­tory with West Indies.

Eric Si­mons, a for­mer South Africa head coach, was a mem­ber of the panel that se­lected Gib­son ahead of a num­ber of other well-qual­i­fied can­di­dates for the job of na­tional team coach.

He said a coach with ex­pe­ri­ence of win­ning a global tour­na­ment, some­thing which South Africa has failed to do in any of the shorter for­mats of the game since their read­mis­sion into the sport, was a key fac­tor in choos­ing the for­mer West Indies head coach and Eng­land bowl­ing coach.

“It was not just a case of pick­ing the per­son, you also have to marry what’s needed,” Si­mons told the ESPNCricinfo web­site.

“We are not far away from an ICC tour­na­ment, al­though it may feel far away. Ot­tis has been there, he has won a tour­na­ment, and he has been part of a pro­fes­sional set up, so he emerged as the right per­son.”

Si­mons added: “We wanted some­one with in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence, some­one that is go­ing to bring fresh ideas and look at things from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. You’ve seen teams that have done that. Mickey Arthur has worked well in Pak­istan, Gary Kirsten did it in In­dia, an out­sider.

“Some­times be­ing able to look at it from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive is re­fresh­ing. We have had a re­ally ma­ture and clear-think­ing cap­tain in Faf du Plessis and I think what Ot­tis is go­ing to bring to Faf is go­ing to be very good.”

Gib­son, who spent a por­tion of his play­ing ca­reer in South Africa, was re­port­edly not one of the ini­tial ap­pli­cants for the job, but he was head-hunted after Cricket South Africa were unim­pressed by the other can­di­dates.

“He is go­ing to bring a fresh out­look,” said Si­mons. “He has got a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence now. He has coached at a num­ber of lev­els. He has coached West Indies, where he ended up los­ing his job, and I think in that process as a coach, you end up learn­ing a lot.

“Ot­tis is a very de­tailed coach. We asked a lot of ques­tions about him — what is he like, what is his style and we ob­vi­ously need to marry the re­la­tion­ship, not only with him and the team, but es­pe­cially with the cap­tain. I think they are go­ing to fit well to­gether from that per­spec­tive. Ot­tis is a good thinker, a good plan­ner of the game and I think that’s what Faf likes. He likes that in­for­ma­tion.

“Ot­tis has walked a very good path as a coach. In speak­ing to him and the play­ers around him, he was very hon­est about what he has learnt and what he has be­come. That was a part of it and the other part is that we think he is go­ing to be very good for Faf.”

Gib­son is sched­uled to ar­rive to­mor­row. It will give him 10 days to pre­pare for his first as­sign­ment against Bangladesh.

Ot­tis Gib­son dur­ing his days coach­ing West Indies.

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