Coach: Crit­ics too harsh on Hash

CityPress - - Sport -

Proteas coach Rus­sell Domingo has lashed out at those who have crit­i­cised out­go­ing test cap­tain Hashim Amla.

A 3-0 se­ries loss in In­dia was fol­lowed by a 241-run de­feat to Eng­land in Dur­ban in the on­go­ing se­ries opener, and all through that there were ques­tions raised over Amla’s lead­er­ship of the side.

On Wed­nes­day, he re­signed from the cap­taincy af­ter hav­ing scored a dou­ble hun­dred to help res­cue a draw for South Africa in the sec­ond test against Eng­land in Cape Town.

And while Amla joked mid-rant with a cheeky “You don’t have to de­fend me, Rus­sell” at the post-match press con­fer­ence where he an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion, the coach felt the need to do so any­way. “I hon­estly feel that a lot of the crit­i­cism Hashim has faced over the last cou­ple of weeks has been very harsh,” said Domingo.

“He is one of South Africa’s great­est-ever play­ers. I hon­estly feel there has not been enough re­spect shown for what he has achieved as a player.”

Domingo also de­fended Amla’s cap­taincy record as well as his bat­ting form dur­ing that time. “If I think of his per­for­mances over the last year, peo­ple can say what they want – he is still av­er­ag­ing 45 as cap­tain,” he said.

“He has gone to Zim­babwe, won a se­ries there and gone to Sri Lanka [and] won a se­ries there – which no other cap­tain has done.

“He has won a se­ries against the West Indies. He has gone to In­dia, where a lot of cap­tains have lost un­der very tough con­di­tions.

“We have come here (home against Eng­land) with six new play­ers who have all played un­der 10 test matches. I think there have been quite a lot of harsh things said about him.

“The self­less­ness … he has sac­ri­ficed him­self for the team … it speaks vol­umes for him. Peo­ple need to ap­pre­ci­ate that kind of char­ac­ter; some­times we un­der­value that.” Cricket SA CEO Ha­roon Lor­gat agreed. “I have noted some of the com­ments, which I re­gard as par­tic­u­larly harsh and un­fair,” he said.

The Proteas now travel to Jo­han­nes­burg for the third test, start­ing on Thurs­day at the Wan­der­ers, where they will be cap­tained by AB de Vil­liers. –

Sport24

PHOTO: MUZI NTOMBELA / BACK­PAGEPIX

BE RE­SPECT­FUL Proteas coach Rus­sell Domingo

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