Faf wants Ottis to continue as Proteas coach but unsure of his own future as skipper
Faf du Plessis has voiced his support for Ottis Gibson to continue as South Africa’s coach despite their dismal men’s World Cup campaign.
But Du Plessis seemed less certain about his own future as captain of the team and perhaps even as an all-format player.
South Africa go into their last group game against Australia at Old Trafford on Saturday having won only two of their other seven completed matches and thus with no hope of reaching the semi-finals.
It’s the first time since 2003 that they have failed to reach the knockout stages of a World Cup and the first time ever that they have been ruled out of the running before the end of the first round.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Thabang Moroe has said Gibson had been hired to win the World Cup or reach the final Du Plessis batted for the coach on Friday when he was asked whether he should continue.
“I would really want Ottis to stay on‚” Du Plessis said.
“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.”
“One of the challenges with a new coach is that he needs time to build relationships. It takes time and energy to build a relationship with a new coach. 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. But I want Ottis to stay on.”
Questioned about his own future‚ Du Plessis said:
“My aim was to commit fully to the World Cup. For me‚ it will be case of taking some time off to reflect.
“What is my purpose?
“Do I still want to play all three formats.”
Saturday’s match will be a last hurrah for JP Duminy and Imran Tahir‚ who have said they will retire from one-day internationals after the tournament.
“There’s a lot to play for‚” Du Plessis said.
“There’s a few guys signing off — it’s the last time we’re going to be together as a unit.”
Although they have already qualified for the semis‚ Australia would finish on top of the standings if they win on Saturday.
That would secure a semi against likely fourth-place finishers New Zealand.