Morgan takes the Heat for failures
With his team at the bottom of the log, there’s no excuses
● Durban Heat coach Grant Morgan is well versed in taking responsibility.
Regarding the mess that’s his Mzansi Super League unit, he’s put his head above the parapet and is facing all the bullets.
In an age in which coaches routinely hide behind processes, the buck has stopped with the 47-year-old.
“I’m the coach of the side and I take ownership of the team. We’ve had decent plans linked to our team and we haven’t executed. It’s my fault if the team doesn’t fire because the players I have here are professionals and I can’t tell them how to play. Our plans are good and sometimes in life people just don’t perform and I take responsibility for that,” Morgan said.
“We did everything right but you have to have teams that finish first and last. How we’ve found ourselves in this position, I don’t know. Things happen in cricket but if we lose another game, it doesn’t mean I’ve become a bad coach with the same applying to the players. People want answers and if I’m condemned as the s ****** coach in SA, then so be it. I’m not one of those coaches who run
I’m the coach ... and I take ownership of the team
Durban Heat coach
from ownership. I’ve tried my best.”
The equaliser in the MSL was the player draft where all teams had an equal opportunity to get their preferred picks.
The general consensus was that the Heat had a strong unit, which Morgan agreed with. However, the appearance of a strong team sheet and the reality of putting together strong performances are different.
“We served our people by creating an expectation that we picked a good side. We must have done a job by at least doing that well. These things work on momentum and even though we lost to the Blitz, we won our second game but we haven’t been able to get momentum,” Morgan said.
“When the calibre of players we have here don’t fire, these are fantastic players who work hard but that leaves you in a position where you say: What do you do? However, you need the whole team to fire together and big players to fire. They’re human beings and it’s like horseracing where you think you’ve backed the right horse. Even though it’s trying, it’s just not its day.”
Fortune, momentum and inability to avoid losing wickets in clusters have been cited as reasons for the Heat’s failure to fire.
The oddity was that they didn’t start very badly. In their opening game against the Cape Town Blitz, batting and bowling moments of magic from Asif Ali (80 off 33 balls) and Anrich Nortje (4/32) swung the pendulum in the Blitz’s favour.
It looked like a small moment then but in the tournament’s long run, the Ashwell Prince team got better and the Heat, even though they won their rain-curtailed game against the Tshwane Spartans, regressed. Morgan understood that luck manufactures itself but from his team’s perspective, it and the other factors, conspired against them in every possible way. The Heat, who hosted the Jozi Stars on Friday, can’t finish higher than third.
“You make your own luck but that very same thing can be the catalyst. I remember Jaque Fourie’s try against the British and Irish Lions and if he had stepped either side of the touch-line, that would have been the difference between that coach (Peter de Villiers) winning the series. Those are the kind of margins you deal with in T20 cricket,” Morgan said.
“You make your own luck and your shot from the fairway is onto the green even though there’s a tree. We’ve sometimes been in the position where there’s been a tree in the fairway for us. Even when Reeza Hendricks made the first ton of the tournament against us last week, there were Chinese cuts and balls being carved over point from the back of the bat and hence Reeza is a genius.”
Reeza Hendricks, left, who has scored two MSL hundreds, has already stated what he does in this tournament will have no bearing on World Cup selection. However, he remains in the selection picture. He also scored the tournament’s first ton.