Proteas start new chapter

2017-09-27 12:16
Protea coaches since ICC readmission.

Protea coaches since ICC readmission. (Graphics24)

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WATCH: Ottis Gibson and his thoughts on transformation

2017-09-19 15:44

Former West Indies fast bowler and England assistant coach Ottis Gibson was officially unveiled as the new Proteas head coach across all three formats on Tuesday. Watch. WATCH

The Proteas, who have blown hot and cold in recent seasons, will start a new chapter under West Indian coach Ottis Gibson when they face Bangladesh in the first Test match of the Asian minnows’ month-long tour in Potchefstroom on Thursday.

Barbados-born Gibson came into the picture after South Africa’s cricket bosses opted not to renew the contract of former Proteas head-man Russell Domingo.

The 48-year-old is the 10th coach of the national team since South Africa was re-admitted to the international cricket fold in 1991 during the demise of Apartheid.

Gibson’s new charges will encounter the reputation-building Tigers of Bangladesh in two Tests, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals.

They will also face Zimbabwe and India later in the year, by which time Gibson should have a new coaching set-up well settled.

He decided to go with the old staff for the start of  Bangladesh’s tour and pick new faces later.

Along with Gibson’s debut, the South Africans will have a new opening pair in Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Thursday.

Moreover, the match will take in the ICC’s new rule changes which include the introduction of player sendoffs for serious misconduct, a restriction on the dimensions of the bat and alterations to the Decision Review System (DRS).

Gibson’s predecessor Domingo conceded to the media recently that, all things considered, it was a relief to come off the Proteas coaching hot-seat, before he got seconded by Cricket SA (CSA) to the South Africa ‘A’ team.

“Coaching the national team is definitely a high-pressure job and definitely I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders‚” said Domingo, who lost his mother during the Proteas’ recent tour of England where they also failed to make an impression in the ICC Champions Trophy. “I have loved my time being the national team coach for four years, but to be honest it wears you down.

“It is nice to get away from that type of pressure and re-invent myself as a coach.”

Domingo had taken over from Gary Kirsten as Proteas coach in August 2013 and lasted exactly four years in the job.

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim commented to the media recently that his team were intent on improving their international standing.

He said they wanted to build on their form in home matches, which included Test wins over England and Australia in the past year.

“Bangladesh has been playing really well in the last couple of years,” he said.

“The first target is to keep that intensity going. When we are playing at home we are really confident. It’s not going to be easy, but this is our next step. We want to do well in Africa, as well. It is a great opportunity for us.”

He acknowledged that coping with South Africa’s fast bowlers in local conditions would be crucial in determining the outcome of matches.

Tomorrow’s match will be covered on SuperSport 2 from 9 am.

The second, and final, Test will be played from October 6 in Bloemfontein.

The three ODIs begin on October 15 and the two Twenty20 internationals start on October 26.

Interestingly, Senwes Park is the venue for the first and last matches of this tour that sees Gibson hoping to win over South African hearts.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  proteas

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