GIBSON THE RIGHT MAN FOR SA JOB‚ SAYS SIMONS
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.