Faf backs Ottis to stay on as Proteas coach beyond CWC

Ottis Gibson (AP)
Ottis Gibson (AP)

Manchester - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has backed Ottis Gibson to stay on as head coach beyond the completion of the 2019 World Cup.

It is a pressing area of uncertainty for Cricket South Africa (CSA), with Gibson's contract expiring at the end of September. 

The CSA leadership does not have luxury of taking their time on the issue, either, with the Proteas' next participation after the World Cup a tour to India in September. 

That's where it all gets a bit complicated. 

South Africa play in three T20Is against India in September, while Gibson is still coach, but then a three-match Test series gets underway in October that will serve as South Africa's first participation in the Test Championship. 

By then, Gibson's contract will have expired. 

It is something that CSA will have to act on immediately after the completion of the 2019 World Cup, where the Proteas have been dismal on their way to two wins from eight outings and a disappointing pool stage elimination. 

Du Plessis acknowledged on Friday at Old Trafford ahead of Saturday's clash against Australia that he would take time after the World Cup to decide his own future, but he is far more certain when it comes to Gibson. 

"I would really want Ottis to stay on," Du Plessis told media in Manchester. 

"As coach and captain, we have a very good relationship, so I hope so.

"There's a T20 World Cup next year in October and November in Australia and both of us planned to be there for that and this World Cup ... that's still how I see it."

While he cast doubt on his future as ODI skipper on Friday, Du Plessis clearly wants to lead the Proteas in Australia and he wants to go into that tournament with his coach alongside him. 

"One of the challenges with a new coach is that he needs time to build relationships," explained Du Plessis.

"I've invested a lot in Ottis and he’s invested a lot in me for us to learn to know each other, and for him to build a relationship with the other players.

"The questions is, naturally, when does a new coach come in, because there is never an ideal time.

"I want Ottis to stay on."

Du Plessis and the Proteas will bring their 2019 World Cup to a close against the Aussies on Saturday. 

Play gets underway at 14:30 (SA time). 

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...  

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