Domingo is the succession plan man

2013-05-12 14:01

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Makes history as the first black in charge since readmission.

Cricket SA (CSA) president Chris Nenzani said continuity and an excellent succession plan were behind the appointment of new Proteas coach Russell Domingo.

Domingo (38) became South Africa’s first black coach, with Nenzani saying his colour did not play a role.

“When Gary Kirsten leaves, there has to be an obvious successor and it was a plan he also brought into the team,” said Nenzani.

“The issue of colour could be a bonus, but it was not the prime consideration. We needed a leader for the team. We needed somebody who is ready to take the team forward. We looked at him as a coach.”

Domingo, who will start on August 1, has a two-year deal that will see him lead the charge to the 2015 World Cup in Australia.

Kirsten, who took over from stand-in Corrie van Zyl at the end of the 2011 World Cup, cited family reasons as one of the major reasons behind his decision not to renew his two-year contract.

He will still be with the team at next month’s ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

His one ICC assignment was the T20 World Cup, where the Proteas failed to get past the second group stage. He then described the Proteas’ inability to win an ICC tournament as a “dark mist” hanging over them.

Domingo is aware of the enormous task ahead, but the successful domestic coach said he hoped it would bring out the best in him.

“I know the pressures that come with the job but it is something I’m really looking forward to,” he said confidently. “Coaches thrive on pressure, big games and big situations. There will be lots of those in the next two years.

“I hope I will be able to get the best out of players.”

Having presided over a successful period at the Warriors after a lacklustre start in 2005, Domingo hoped that all the lessons acquired during the good and bad times in his coaching career will come to fruition.

“There are things I’ve done at franchise level that I wouldn’t do at national. Everything I do will be in the best interests of the team and country,” he said.

Nenzani said Domingo’s appointment eliminated the cultural change that came with a new coach.

“We wanted to stop the situation where you have these rugged pathways where a new coach comes in and a new culture develops. We wanted the culture that is in the team to continue, which made Domingo’s appointment very easy. There is enough leadership in the setup,” said Nenzani.

South Africa will be heading to the Champions Trophy sans Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith, the first for personal reasons, the second because of an old ankle injury that needs surgery.

Nenzani allayed fears of a leadership vacuum engulfing the team with the missing experience of the pair. He said the team must learn to live without the duo, who have 514 ODI caps between them.

“With age and, looking at Smith and Kallis, their bodies are giving them small messages about time. It also affords the opportunity of bringing in fresh blood and considering other options,” said Nenzani.

“Even at that level, there has to be a succession plan so that when Kallis and Smith decide to call it a day, we are not caught napping.”

Nenzani also pointed out that a new chief executive will be announced in June. He said the rather painstaking process was because the organisation was looking for the right candidate.

“We were supposed to receive three names, but were told last week that we need more time. I agreed, as we want to do the right thing and follow the correct channels,” said Nenzani.

“I was told there were 200 applicants.”

One source speculated that Kirsten could also be eyeing the Australian coaching job, which is currently held by former South African coach Mickey Arthur.

His tenure has been blighted by poor results and ill-discipline among the Australian ranks.

It culminated in the “homeworkgate” saga where Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson missed the third test against India in Mohali in March.

The source said: “Gary likes to take teams to number one, irrespective of the format, and Australia are ripe for the picking. Whether they win the Ashes or not, it’s highly unlikely that Mickey will retain his job.”

Who is Russell Domingo?

»?Born August 30 1974;

»?He is the second famous Chapman High School alumnus after former Egoli actor Marlon Roelfze;

»?He is the first South African cricket coach without first-class or test match experience;

»?He is a Manchester United fan;

»?He was the first coach to bring silverware to the Warriors, winning the T20 and domestic limited overs competition in 2009/10 season; and

»?He was the first South African coach to take a team into the Champions League T20 final in 2010/11 season.

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