Proteas

Benkenstein: Sacking Gibson didn't make sense

Dale Benkenstein (Gallo Images)
Dale Benkenstein (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Proteas batting coach Dale Benkenstein says he feels for ousted head coach Ottis Gibson, who was let go after South Africa's failed 2019 Cricket World Cup campaign. 

Cricket South Africa (CSA) opted against renewing Gibson's contract, which was due to run until the end of September, instead employing Enoch Nkwe as the interim team director for the upcoming tour of India. 

Gibson went along with his entire backroom coaching staff, which included Benkenstein, Malibongwe Maketa (assistant coach), Claude Henderson (spin bowling coach) and Justin Ontong (fielding coach). 

Now, in a revealing interview with Netwerk24, Benkenstein has opened up on the post-World Cup events that saw Gibson and the coaching staff removed. 

He confirmed that it was always his plan to return to his high school coaching job at Hilton College, even if Gibson had stayed on as coach. 

Benkenstein added that it made "no sense" for CSA to get rid of Gibson and Makweta, given the experience they had gained together at the World Cup. 

"They lost an excellent coach," Benkenstein said. 

"I can't see how it was a good decision.

"South Africa is not an easy team to coach with the criteria you have to meet when it comes to choosing the team.

"I think Ottis handled it well ... these are challenges that you are not faced with anywhere else in the world."

Benkenstein also called it "ironic" that CSA have publicly stated that Nkwe would not be judged on his performances in the Indian tour alone. 

"We were judged on one tournament ... our performances in the build-up to the World Cup had been good," he said. 

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