South Africa have narrowed down on Ottis Gibson in their hunt for a new head coach, according to Faf du Plessis, the Test captain, who spoke to reporters upon his team’s return from England on Friday (August 11). However, no official statement has been released by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on the matter yet.
South Africa suffered a 3-1 defeat against England, for whom Gibson has been the bowling coach since 2015.
“It’s been told to us that the decision has been made by the coaching panel,” Du Plessis said at a press conference in Cape Town. “They’ve chosen Ottis Gibson as their recommendation and now, the board decides whether they want to use that recommendation or not.”
The coaching panel included Gary Kirsten and Eric Simons, who had both held coaching roles with South Africa earlier.
Du Plessis’s comments sparked media speculation in both England and South Africa, since Gibson is still contracted to the England and Wales Cricket Board, and was expected to play a role in England’s upcoming three-Test series against Windies with the Ashes to follow later in the year.
Gibson’s switch is expected to cost CSA a healthy sum, but with the inaugural edition of the Global Twenty20 league pumping in a lot of money for the board, there shouldn’t be a monetary crisis.
CSA’s contract with Russell Domingo, the current head coach, expires in September, and even though he reapplied for the position, du Plessis revealed that he was not the frontrunner in the race anymore. Du Plessis admitted that he hardly knew Gibson, but was doing his research on the potential new coach to get to know him better.
“For me, it was important, because I don’t know Ottis, to try and find something out about him,” he said. “I spoke to a few of the West Indian players because he was their coach and then I spoke to the English guys about their thoughts on him.
“There were one or two differences in opinion, but the comments were positive.”
Gibson coached West Indies from 2010 to 2014 before signing up with England for his second stint as the bowling coach.