South Africa’s World Cup coaching and management staff is so large, an entire playing XI could be formed. Here’s a light-hearted look at what the backroom boys could bring to the field of play in the other Proteas XI…
2 Andrew Hudson: Steely and stoic as an opening batsman during South Africa’s return to international cricket in 1991-92, the current convener of selectors would be a great fit alongside Kirsten.
3 Michael Hussey: Hussey has been accused of sleeping with the enemy by working with the Proteas during the ongoing ODI showpiece in Australasia. The secondary batting consultant would be a welcome addition to this theoretical middle order.
4 Greg King: The fitness trainer‘s first-class career was very brief, but experience – in the backrooms and on the field – since gained with India and South Africa would suffice in this conjectured middle order.
5 Paddy Upton: South Africa have chosen not to take the mental conditioning coach to Australia and New Zealand, but his former ability with the bat wouldn’t go amiss here.
6 Russell Domingo: The head coach represented a variety of invitational XIs back in the day, and even played with Birrell against an England A XI boasting the talent of Darren Gough and Dominic Cork. Based on his current standing, he’d captain this speculative team too.
7 Charl Langeveldt: His characteristically cheap approach at the death of the innings would outdo Donald’s lines and lengths, but the fast-bowling coach’s impending successor would not outgun ‘White Lightning’s’ pace.
8 Claude Henderson: ‘Tahir has done very well of late. Something has happened for the good, working alongside Henderson,’ former all-rounder Brian McMillan told ESPNcricinfo recently. Like Tahir today, the spin bowling consultant would often be the loan specialist slow bowler in this supposed bowling attack.
9 Adrian Birrell: Ireland’s former head coach and Domingo’s successor as assistant coach was a decent first-class leg-spinner between 1985 and 1997 – and perhaps offers Imran Tahir specific advice now and then.
10 Allan Donald: Admittedly, this imaginary XI doesn’t have a wicketkeeper, but all that time spent – baseball mitt on hand – to Dale Steyn and company would serve the fast bowling coach well behind the stumps.
11 Mohammed Moosajee: Even some of the best outfits accommodate veritable passengers. While there is no playing record for the team manager, his administration skills wouldn’t be lost as, say, vice-captain.