Proteas coach Gibson wants to stay: 'I love my job'

Ottis Gibson (Lloyd Burnard)
Ottis Gibson (Lloyd Burnard)

Manchester - Proteas coach Ottis Gibson wants to stay on in his role despite South Africa's poor showing at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Gibson's contract as head coach is set to expire in September. 

When he gets back to South Africa, Gibson will meet with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) leadership to discuss what has happened over the last six weeks in England and over the last 22 months since he signed on as coach. 

Winning the World Cup, or at least challenging, is believed to have been a key part of Gibson's mandate when he took the job. 

That obviously didn't happen, but the 50-year-old West Indian confirmed after Saturday's win against Australia in Manchester that he wants his contract to be extended. 

It came just a day after skipper Faf du Plessis had backed Gibson to re-sign as coach until at least the T20 World Cup in Australia towards the end of next year. 

"Of course I want my job … I love my job," Gibson told media, adding that plans for the tour of India in September, where the Proteas will have their first participation in the Test Championship, had already begun.

"I have to hear from them (CSA).

"The contract was always to mid-September 2019, so we'll have to see.

"From my point of view, we have had a disappointing World Cup and if you take the World Cup in isolation, you might feel the need for change.

"But if you look over the last two years, we have done some good things as well. We'll have to wait and see how CSA look at the whole picture."

Gibson pointed to home Test series wins over Australia and India as highlights of his tenure while he also believes that fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi have improved under his leadership. 

Time, Gibson says, was the biggest stumbling block towards World Cup success. 

"When I came in, I only had 18 months," he said.

"We've had retirements, we've had some people go off on Kolpaks, we've had injuries, especially in these last 10 games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan where you want to play your World Cup team.

"Looking back now, you wish you had just that little bit more time, but the World Cup was around the corner.

"We ultimately ran out of time in terms of trying to put the team together that we needed."

Gibson was coach when AB de Villiers retired from international cricket in a killer blow to South Africa's World Cup charge while fast bowler Duanne Olivier was the biggest name to move up north on a Kolpak deal. 

The injuries, meanwhile, were an issue before and during the World Cup. 

Dale Steyn never bowled a ball at the tournament while all of Ngidi, Rabada, JP Duminy, David Miller and Hashim Amla had injuries or at least fitness concerns at different stages heading into and during the tournament. 

Gibson could not fault the support he had been given from CSA throughout his time in South Africa. 

"I feel like I've had a lot of support. Things haven't gone well, so I'm not going to stand here and throw anyone under the bus," he said.

"We wanted the IPL players pulled out earlier and that didn't happen. Could that have made a difference? Perhaps.

"Ultimately, we didn't play well, and we have to take that on the chin. It's not anybody in the boardroom's fault that we didn't play well."

CSA president Chris Nenzani has already said that 'heads will roll' following South Africa's World Cup disaster, so it is difficult to see Gibson surviving. 

If he is axed, it will be the World Cup performance that ultimately cost him his job.

"Everybody will feel really badly about the World Cup and rightly so," he said.

"The country craves a World Cup and I get that now … I probably get it more than ever."

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

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