Not a secret any longer: Yashin Ebrahim gets the Dolphins coaching job

2008-01-17 00:00

THE worst-kept secret in KZN cricket was confirmed yesterday when Jay Naidoo told The Witness that Yashin Ebrahim has been appointed coach of the Dolphins team.

Naidoo, the chief of selectors and manager of playing affairs, said Ebrahim’s signature is on the document and it’s full steam ahead.

“Yash has been appointed coach until April 2010,” Naidoo said.

When asked to divulge the names of the leading applicants for the job, Naidoo said the six shortlised candidates requested confidentiality as a number of them already hold positions in SA cricket.

Ebrahim’s appointment covers three seasons including the present one.

Naidoo added that the players get on well with Ebrahim and he worked hard with them in the off-season.

Ebrahim, who played club cricket in his day, is the son of renowned former spinner Baboo Ebrahim, who represented SA Invitation teams with success alongside the leading players in the country during the period of isolation from international cricket.

The younger Ebrahim earlier filled the role of assistant to player/coach Dale Benkenstein.

However, the latter’s move to the rebel Indian Cricket League just before this season meant he had to give up the Dolphins job and Ebrahim was designated to take over.

The Dolphins lie in second place on the SuperSport Series log with the MTN Domestic Championship and Standard Bank Pro20 Series to follow once the four-day competition finishes at the end of this month.

Dolphins CEO Cassim Docrat earlier said that fine-tuning of the contract details was the reason for the delay of a week or so in announcing the appointment.

“Last year, Yashin assumed the same role when Graham Ford stood down as the Dolphins coach for personal reasons.

“With the experience he has gained in the above roles, KZN Cricket [Pty Ltd], the company which owns the Dolphins, is confident that Yashin will make a success of his appointment,” said Docrat.

The Witness is aware that at least one of the coaches to apply for the job was a recently retired Test and one-day international player who is held in high regard.

Ironically, he is even more experienced than Benkenstein in that he has played Test cricket, while the latter never got the nod from the SA selectors in the five-day arena.

And, like Benky, he played for Natal with considerable success and spent nigh on a decade plying his trade in county cricket.

The coach, who declined to be named, said that when he was not granted an interview for the job he assumed that the Dolphins panel had some high-profile candidates lined up.

“The Dolphins coaching position is regarded as a prestigious one in world cricket, bearing in mind that before Benky was forced to decline the job, his predecessors had been of the stature of Malcolm Marshall, Graham Ford, Eldine Baptiste and Phil Russell.

“It seems strange that the Dolphins panel have now opted for Yashin, who is certainly not as experienced as his predecessors, both as a player or coach. It will be interesting to see how Yash fares with the Dolphins this season and how he develops the team.”

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