Sunday Observer - - SPORT - OHANNESBURG - AFP

JA fresh ap­proach‚ ex­pe­ri­ence‚ and the right man for the job: Ot­tis Gib­son pushed all the right but­tons to be­come South Africa’s new coach.

That’s ac­cord­ing to 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‚” Si­mons said. “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 rela- tion­ship is very im­por­tant.”

What sep­a­rated Gib­son from other can­di­dates who were in the run­ning — one of whom was Domingo‚ who had spent four mostly suc­cess­ful years in the po­si­tion? “He has in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and I think he learnt a lot through that tough pe­riod with West In­dies.

“As coaches‚ we hire them when we shouldn’t and fire them when we should hire them. “In speak­ing to him and the play­ers around him‚ he was very hon­est about what he has learnt and what he has be­come.” Was Gib­son the panel’s first choice?

“He emerged as the first choice be­cause that’s the one we picked at the end of the day. It was a very good process. Ev­ery­body started on an equal foot­ing and then it slowly emerged. “It was not just a case of pick­ing the per­son — you also have to marry what’s needed. We are not far away from an ICC (In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil) tour­na­ment (the 2019 World Cup)‚ al­though it may feel far away.

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