Corrie van Zyl’s statement that Ottis Gibson’s successor will be employed as ‘a combination of the old team manager and head coach’ has ruled several pretenders out of contention.
The team director role will, admittedly, come with additional responsibilities beyond the qualifications and current credentials of many optimistic applicants.
For one, Geoffrey Toyana is presumably removed from the running. The Lions didn’t extend his tenure, leaving Northerns to offer employment. CSA won’t likely have a former franchise coach relegated to provincial cricket to direct the Proteas.
According to Van Zyl, the new appointment will be ‘the key guy to drive team performance, culture and environment’.
Mark Boucher has certainly driven ambitious performance at the Titans, while the financially flush franchise has helped facilitate an attractive culture and environment. The Proteas limited-overs unit is lined with successful Titans players, including Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock and several others. The Test outfit has Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn and more from the Titans. The application and appointment of Boucher would ostensibly continue this progression.
Anticipation that Allan Donald and other South Africans employed abroad will apply for the post is, again, hopeful. Donald is proving successful enough – and earning well – at Kent. That said, perhaps this is the opportunity for the former fast bowler to elevate a coaching career built on the back of several assistant stints with South Africa, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and more. He’d come with hefty financial implications, though, which a cash-strapped CSA probably won’t be able to entertain.
CSA sought the help of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, who have hosted a dozen editions of the Indian Premier League, in implementing the inaugural Mzansi Super League. They would do well to indulge the insight of the England and Wales Cricket Board, too. The ECB is well versed in the employment of directors of cricket and variations of the role, having worked with Andy Flower, Andrew Strauss, Ashley Giles and Trevor Bayliss.
What CSA must not do, though, is employ an Englishman who couldn’t succeed as head coach – twice. Reports that Peter Moores is among the candidates to succeed Gibson coincided with Kevin Pietersen’s insistence that Boucher get the job. Pietersen’s remarks about Boucher have merit, but Moores’ candidacy does not.
Whoever Van Zyl and company eventually hire, he must gradually bring to fruition CSA’s wish for ‘effective cricket governance and greater accountability to South Africans.’ Proteas fans deserve what Gibson and a line of predecessors couldn’t deliver.
Photo: Gallo Images