CSA should have played open cards

Domingo de­served treat­ment with a lit­tle more re­spect

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

A POLOGIES for re­peat­ing this line, but with his ten­ure now seem­ingly over, it's worth re­peat­ing that Russell Do-mingo and I didn't see eye to eye and there was a mis­taken be­lief from his side that I didn't want him to coach the na­tional team some time around the first half of last year. That wasn't the case.

The team were play­ing poorly, had had a sham­bolic World T20 and lost back-to-back Test se­ries to Eng­land and In­dia.

But Domingo had per­se­vered through those dif­fi­cult times, tin­ker­ing and try­ing to find the right bal­ance in a team that were still com­ing to terms with the ab­sence of gi­ants of the posti­so­la­tion era such as Graeme Smith and Jac­ques Kal­lis.

Domingo felt the pres­sure – as any coach/ man­ager would when re­sults weren’t go­ing his way. I was crit­i­cal. He didn’t like that – and fair enough. But he re­mained gen­uinely open and frank.

The same can’t be said for his bosses at Cricket South Africa.

They re­leased news that he would need to re-ap­ply for his post in the mid­dle of an in­ter­na­tional match, back in Jan­uary.

It took Cricket SA un­til May to ap­point a five­man se­lec­tion panel to iden­tify who that per­son should be.

Mean­while, there’s been very lit­tle com­mu­ni­ca­tion from CSA with the cur­rent man­age­ment and coach­ing staff.

Per­haps that’s not nec­es­sary, but it does seem mean given that Domingo has been part of the coach­ing set-up for six years.

Domingo still wants to play a part in South African cricket, and given the kind of ex­pe­ri­ence that’s been lost to the sport in the coun­try – for what­ever rea­son – his kind of in­tel­lec­tual cap­i­tal is some­thing Cricket SA can ill af­ford to lose.

What CSA should do is have the de­cency to pick up the phone and play open cards with him. Re­gard­less of the er­rors he’s com­mit­ted (and who among CSA’s ad­min­is­tra­tors haven’t made mis­takes?), Domingo’s a decent man who de­serves bet­ter than to not have been talked to at all about what the fu­ture may hold for him in South African cricket.

The Eng­land tour has been a des­per­ately dis­ap­point­ing one for South African cricket – not one se­ries in the dif­fer­ent for­mats of the game was won. Of the 13 in­ter­na­tional matches played on the tour – across One-Day and T20 se­ries against Eng­land, the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy and the four Tests – South Africa won just four times – a win per­cent­age of 30.76%. That isn’t all the coach’s fault.

Re­mem­ber it was Cricket SA that held a “launch” in Lon­don in the mid­dle of the tour for its new Global T20 League, parad­ing play­ers around like cat­tle at an auc­tion.

Sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges await Domingo’s re­place­ment, and CSA would be bet­ter placed putting greater em­pha­sis on their pri­mary as­set, and en­sur­ing that coach gets all the nec­es­sary as­sis­tance re­quired, lest the side lurch into the sum­mer with all the same prob­lems that have be­set it on this tour.

Hope­fully, CSA will also find its hu­mane side as well, and treat that new coach and the out­go­ing one with a lit­tle bit more re­spect.

They both de­serve it.

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