South African coach Ottis Gibson has appointed an all South African assistant staff after taking over as South Africa”s head coach. The former West Indian fast bowler left the role of England”s bowling coach and took over from Russell Domingo as coach of South Africa before the Proteas series against Bangladesh this September. Gibson had already announced that he will choose his own coaching assistants which meant the lot from Domingo had to make way.
Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa has been appointed as Gibson”s assistant, former South Africa batsman Dale Benkenstein as the batting coach and former Proteas batsman Justin Ontong as the fielding coach. Claude Henderson is the only one to stay, retaining his role as the spin consultant. Gibson had already announced that he will be taking over the role of fast bowling coach from Charl Langaveldt.
“My first six weeks as head coach gave me a good indication of the areas and resources needed for me to take the team forward. I”m confident with the coaching support staff we have put together and believe we share the same vision and understanding required to achieve success in our environment,” Gibson said in a statement.
“The coaches are experienced experts in their respective fields and will add value and energy to an already high-performing environment. The Proteas have a well-run and professional setup and I have no doubt that these additions will further enhance that element during my tenure.”
“Malibongwe has done a wonderful job as Powerade National Academy and SA “A” Interim Head coach as well as getting the Warriors to two limited overs finals last season without having some of the headline players available to other franchises, while Dale brings loads of experience from the time he has spent overseas,” CSA”s acting chief executive Thabang Moroe said.
South Africa have got a long season ahead. They play a 4-day Day-Night fixture against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day after which the much-anticipated series against India will commence. After India series, South Africa are penciled in to play 4 tests against Australia in March.
– by Atharva Apte