Gib­son the right man for the SA job, says Si­mons

The Times (South Africa) - - Sport - By TELFORD VICE

● A fresh ap­proach, ex­pe­ri­ence and the right man for the job: Ot­tis Gib­son pushed all the right but­tons to be­come South Africa’s new coach, says Eric Si­mons, a mem­ber of the panel Cricket South Africa ap­pointed to find a suc­ces­sor to Rus­sell Domingo.

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

“We asked a lot of ques­tions about him — what he’s like, what his style is — 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.

“He is a good thinker, a good plan­ner of the game, and I think that’s what [cap­tain] Faf [du Plessis] likes; he likes that in­for­ma­tion and that re­la­tion­ship is very im­por­tant.”

Gib­son’s ap­point­ment ahead of sea­soned South Africans such as Lions coach Ge­off Toy­ana raised ques­tions about the qual­ity of the skills avail­able in the coun­try.

Were South Africa’s coaches not good enough to step up to the in­ter­na­tional stage?

“I’m sure they are but at this stage we thought an in­ter­na­tional coach with in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence was the right mix at the right time,” said Si­mons.

The fact that Gib­son was a for­eigner — al­beit some­one with in­ti­mate knowl­edge of South African cricket, hav­ing played for three prov­inces in the 1990s — was, for Si­mons, an ad­van­tage.

“Mickey Arthur has worked well in Pak­istan, Gary Kirsten did it in In­dia, Trevor Bayliss has done well in Eng­land.

“Some­times be­ing able to look at it from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive is re­fresh­ing.”

South Africans have spent 25 years wait­ing for their of­ten highly re­garded team to win a World Cup, a Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy or, since 2007, a World T20. What did the team need from their coach to take them to that level?

“Some­one who has coached at an in­ter­na­tional level, some­one who is go­ing to bring fresh ideas and look at things from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.”

Si­mons, re­spected in­ter­na­tion­ally for his coach­ing abil­ity and a survivor of the South Africa job it­self, should know of whence he speaks. We’ll see for our­selves soon enough: Gib­son ar­rives on Mon­day and his first match in charge is the Test against Bangladesh in Potchef­stroom, which starts on Septem­ber 28.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.