Proteas sup­port staff have tour to prove them­selves

CityPress - - Sport - SIMNIKIWE XA­BAN­ISA sports@city­

Af­ter Cricket SA’s (CSA’s) an­nounce­ment that they would be re­tained un­til the end of Bangladesh’s tour of the coun­try, the Proteas’ sup­port staff are ef­fec­tively on trial on two fronts to prove their worth af­ter Ot­tis Gib­son’s ap­point­ment as the team’s head coach.

With Gib­son ar­riv­ing to­mor­row to be­gin his two-year ten­ure, Rus­sell Domingo’s old lieu­tenants – who in­clude Neil McKen­zie (bat­ting), Charl Langeveldt (bowl­ing) and Claude Hen­der­son (spin con­sul­tant), among oth­ers – find them­selves with two tests, three one-day in­ter­na­tion­als and two T20 games to prove them­selves to CSA and their new West In­dian boss.

The stay of ex­e­cu­tion for the sup­port staff is some­thing of a com­pro­mise be­tween Gib­son – who is un­der­stood to be keen to work with South African staff, but has his own peo­ple wait­ing in the wings – and CSA, which also has its own can­di­dates in mind for the posts.

A CSA in­sider said that, in ne­go­ti­a­tions for his sup­port staff, Gib­son said he wanted to work “with the best there is as far as avail­able South Africans, but, if that is not pos­si­ble, he has one or two other peo­ple he would like to work with”.

“We have pre­ferred can­di­dates, but the coach’s con­tract says he has the right to se­lect his own staff,” said our source.

Should the in­cum­bent back­room staffers prove to be what Gib­son is look­ing for, their re­prieve from fol­low­ing Domingo as ex­pected will be com­plete.

But the of­fi­cial re­vealed that CSA was un­der­whelmed by the idea of car­ry­ing on with the cur­rent as­sis­tant coaches: “It doesn’t make sense to keep the same sup­port staff if the team is not reach­ing its mile­stones. We should rather keep peo­ple who are pulling their weight.

“It might sound harsh, but these are the same peo­ple who

failed to help the Proteas get over the line.”

The peo­ple CSA has in mind in­clude Lions coach Ge­off Toy­ana, who was con­sid­ered a favourite when the search for Domingo’s re­place­ment com­menced about seven months ago, but was deemed not to be ready by the panel charged with find­ing a new coach.

The ba­sic idea there would be to have Toy­ana shadow Gib­son for the next two years so he will be well placed to re­place him af­ter the Cricket World Cup, when the cur­rent se­nior play­ers are ex­pected to be gone and the Proteas re­build afresh.

“We’d like him to em­ploy South Africans; we’d like to open op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple who have im­proved in the sys­tem,” said our source. “But we wouldn’t like to im­pose on the coach as he has the right to choose who he wants.”


POINT TO PROVE Claude Hen­der­son


NEED TO CON­VINCE Charl Langeveldt




NEW BROOM Head coach Ot­tis Gib­son

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