• SA news roundup (Wed)

    Eric Simons has lost his IPL job, while Haroon Lorgat has appealed to the state for aid.

    Eric Simons loses Daredevils gig

    Delhi Daredevils cut Eric Simons loose and replaced him as assistant coach with former India batsman Pravin Amre for the 2015 season.

    Despite having a high-profile team set-up, with former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten as head coach and former England batsman Kevin Pietersen as the captain last year, Daredevils finished at the bottom of the points table with just two wins and 12 defeats. In IPL 2013, too, they had finished at the same position.

    Heman Dua, Daredevils’ CEO, confirmed Amre’s appointment and said the franchise had been keen on recruiting an Indian coach. The team management felt that not having a local coach in the set-up was a factor in the sides dismal performance last year.

    ‘Last year we felt the biggest vacuum was we did not have an Indian guy on the coaching bench,’ Dua said. ‘Someone who is currently active and knows what goes on at the domestic level. Pravin brings all the knowledge as he is an active Ranji coach, so he has seen the players first-hand. He knows if we need to look at any young Indian talent, he can offer his suggestions. He can work with the Indian players in a much better way where here [he] can give support to Gary.’

    Dua went on to say that the franchise had mutually agreed to end the contract with the South African.

    ‘He was there long enough with the team and we felt it was not working.’

    Despite the departure of Simons, Gary Kirtsen still provides a South African flavour as head coach. After his exploits with the Indian national team, Amre is looking forward to working with him.

    ‘I am looking forward to working with him. We know how much contributions he has done for Indian cricket so it would be a learning experience for me, too,’ said Amre.

    Lorgat calls for state help

    Cricket SA CEO Haroon Lorgat has called on government to support the development of cricket in South Africa.

    ‘What is startling for me is the lack of government support [here]. It’s something we all need to think about, [and] how we’re going to unlock [it],’ Lorgat said.

    At present, the development of cricketers from a young age relies on the support of CSA and outside sponsorship.To maintain South Africa’s status as the number one Test side in the world, more needed to be done, he said.

    ‘We cannot achieve the kind of social re-engineering we’re looking for without the support of the state.

    ‘I believe there’s a lot we need to do as a country and I think government needs to play a more meaningful role in terms of supporting us because we don’t have enough resources.

    ‘We’ll never [currently] get all our programmes to where we want them, so that support would be welcome.’

    He went on to say that transformation did not necessarily have anything to do with skin colour. He even listed some examples to back up his point.

    ‘Lance Klusener and Dale Steyn are products of transformation programmes, they came out from rural areas where cricket is not normally played.

    ‘Without these programmes those kind of superstars may not have been found. There’s loads of talent still to be unearthed.’

    Photo: Backpagepix

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