CSA boss on why Gibson's contract extension never happened

Thabang Moroe (Gallo Images)
Thabang Moroe (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Thabang Moroe acknowledges that he had approached Ottis Gibson over the possibility of extending his contract as head coach. 

The 50-year-old Barbadian's contract was due to expire at the end of September this year and CSA confirmed on Sunday that it would not be renewed, and that Gibson had been let go along with his entire coaching team. 

CSA has instead changed its structures completely and is now looking to appoint a team director, who will serve under a director of cricket, who will serve under Moroe. 

It is a linear structure of hierarchy, with Moroe at the very top. 

Cricketing decisions, such as the employment of key cricketing personnel, can now be made by acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl and signed off by Moroe without going to board level first. 

The role of the head coach has been dissolved and Gibson's responsibilities will now be taken up by the team director, who will be appointed by Van Zyl and signed off by Moroe.  

Sport24 on Monday morning revealed how the relationship between Gibson and Moroe had soured over the past few months, and South Africa's dismal performance at the 2019 World Cup provided CSA with enough ammunition to part ways with their coach. 

Moroe did confirm, though, that he had initially intended on keeping Gibson around until after the 2021 T20 World Cup. 

"I first spoke to Ottis and told him that I would like to suggest that the board look at his contract with a possible extension," Moroe explained.

"Ottis responded by saying that he would look at being re-employed until 2021 and that that's what I should suggest to the board.

"I did suggest that to the board and they deliberated on that. They agreed that we could go ahead and extend the coach's contract subject to him agreeing to key pointers in his contract changing.

"Part of that would have been EPG (transformation targets), part would have been communication and part would have been performance.

"We went back to the coach and communicated such to him. He said he could not immediately agree until he saw what his contract looked like."

At that same February 1 board meeting where Moroe suggested to the board that Gibson's contract be extended, it was also proposed that Moroe be given the final sign-off on all starting team line-ups moving forward to help ensure that the Proteas met their transformation commitments.

Gibson, as was reported earlier, was hugely disappointed that he and team management, including the selector of convenors Linda Zondi, had not been consulted before the board's decision to hand signing power to Moroe.

CSA president Chris Nenzani, having chatted to team management and heard their concerns, then intervened and the decision was overturned. 

The recommendations from the board to extend Gibson's contract and to hand selection power to Moroe both came at that February 1 board meeting in Cape Town, and Gibson's strong reaction to the selection issue did not go down well with Moroe. 

"It is well documented now in the media that the coach was not happy about the board wanting to activate this policy," Moroe added.

"The policy was in place for three days.

"The February 1 meeting was on a Friday and on the Monday the president called me and said he had a chat with a few guys in the team.

"He asked if we could put the policy on ice and there was no reason why I would mind, because the perception was that the board, along with the CEO, were intending on interfering on selection, which wasn't true.

"To dispel such rumours, we just simply put the process on ice.

"Similarly, with Ottis not agreeing (to an extension before seeing a contract), we decided to rather put his contract on ice as well and judge him on how we said we would, which is on his performances at the World Cup."

Sport24 can reveal that, contrary to what has been previously reported, there was no stipulation in Gibson's contract stating that he had to win the 2019 World Cup or even make the playoffs.

There is, however, a performance clause that demands "success" at a major international tournament.

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