Faf du Plessis has confirmed that Ottis Gibson was recommended by the panel, and now it’s up to the board to decide whether to choose him as Proteas head coach.
The speculation continues to surround the Proteas coaching position while Cricket South Africa continues to deliberate about the decision, but Faf du Plessis is preparing for life with England bowling coach Ottis Gibson, after the Test skipper revealed that Gibson was recommended by the selection panel.
The panel, comprising three CSA board members, Norman Arendse, Rihan Richards and Oupa Nkagisang, as well as former SA coaches Gary Kirsten and Eric Simons, presented their recommendations to the CSA board on 21 July, and it’s been confirmed that Gibson was the one recommended.
Du Plessis arrived in Cape Town on Thursday morning and addressed the media at the airport, where he said it’s now up to the board to decide on the coach.
‘The decision has been made by the panel and they’ve chosen Gibson as their recommendation. Now that goes to the board and they need to decide whether to go with that recommendation or not,’ Du Plessis said.
Du Plessis admitted that he’s already done his homework on the 48-year-old West Indian, currently contracted as the England bowling coach.
‘I don’t know Ottis; I’ve never worked with him,’ Du Plessis said. ‘I actually spoke to a few of the West Indian guys because he coached there. I spoke to the English guys and there were a few different opinions, but the comments were positive. I spoke to Ben Stokes and he said he’s a really good bowling coach, but I’m not sure what he’ll be like as a head coach. Eoin Morgan said he’s good at what he does and that he’s a good guy, and that’s the most important thing.’
The Test skipper refused to use the unsettling rumours as a reason for their failure in the Test series against England, which saw them lose 3-1, but did admit that it might be time to bring in a coach with ‘fresh ideas’.
‘We can’t use that as an excuse,’ Du Plessis continued. ‘Russell has been coaching for quite a while and the coaching staff has been really good during this time. They always make sure that they are focused on putting everything in to the team. So it’s not ideal, but it’s no excuse.’
‘The team knows Russell well and he’s established good relationships with the players. To lose that won’t be nice. But on the other side, it might be a good time for someone new with some fresh ideas. As long as the person in place is someone who understands South African cricket and understands our culture, that should make it easy to come in.’