'Of course I want my job‚' says Proteas coach Ottis Gibson

South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson talks to his captain Faf du Plessis before the Cricket World Cup match against New Zealand at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on June 19 2019.
South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson talks to his captain Faf du Plessis before the Cricket World Cup match against New Zealand at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on June 19 2019.
Image: Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Is Ottis Gibson still South Africa’s coach?

Does he still want the position? Especially with a difficult tour of India looming?

“Of course I want my job‚” Gibson said.

“I love my job — we’ve started planning for the tour to India.”

Gibson spoke minutes after South Africa’s men’s Cricket World Cup campaign ended in a 10-run win over Australia at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ordinarily that would be cause for celebration‚ but not this time.

The victory was only South Africa’s third in their seven completed games at a tournament in which they crashed out of the running for a place in the semi-finals with two league games still remaining.

That makes the 2019 World Cup South Africa’s worst ever.

Considering Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Thabang Moroe has said CSA’s board had hired Gibson solely to win the World Cup‚ a stipulation later revised to them having to reach the final‚ the Bajan future would seem uncertain.

Matters could progress after the board meeting on July 20‚ but CSA would struggle to find a permanent replacement in time to take over the preparations for the three T20s and three Tests the Proteas will play in India.

“I have to hear from them [CSA]‚” Gibson said.

“The contract was always until mid-September 2019 and then we will work out what happens after that.

“Of course‚ we have had a very disappointing World Cup if you take the tournament in isolation.

“You might feel there is a need for change. But if you look at what has happened in the last two years‚ you will also think that we’ve done some good things.

“We’ll have to wait and see how CSA look at the whole picture.”

Of the 71 matches South Africa have played across the formats under Gibson since he took the reins in September 2017‚ they have won 44 — or 61.97% — and lost 25: 35.21%.

His predecessor‚ Russell Domingo‚ was in charge for 101 more games. He won 55.23% and lost 37.21%.

Whoever wears the tracksuit won’t have the retired JP Duminy or Imran Tahir — except in T20s — to call on‚ while Duanne Olivier took a Kolpak deal during Gibson’s tenure.

On top of that‚ Hashim Amla‚ Dale Steyn and maybe even Faf du Plessis could be on their way out.

Then there’s the legal action the SA Cricketers’ Association have launched over a domestic restructuring plan proposed by CSA‚ who could lose up to R654m by the end of the 2022 right cycle.

What did Gibson think of all that? Did he think of that?

“It’s a good question but it’s a question that’s perhaps not for me.

“I just work with the players on a day-to-day basis‚ around the improvement of their talent‚ their skills‚ trying to get the most out of their talent.

“The stuff between CSA and the board is a matter for CSA to deal with and I am sure they will deal with in the appropriate way.”

Did he think CSA had given him the best chance to take South Africa to World Cup glory?

“I feel like I have had a lot of support. Things haven’t gone well. I am not going to stand here and throw anybody under the bus.

“Ultimately‚ could we have had a little more support? We wanted the IPL [Indian Premier League] players pulled out of the IPL earlier‚ certainly.

“That didn’t happen. Could that have made a difference? Perhaps.

“Australia withheld even their fast bowlers from going to the tournament‚ but every situation is different.

“Australia aren’t trying to save R600m or whatever like CSA are so.

“I am not going to sit here and say I didn’t have support.

“Ultimately‚ we didn’t play well and we have to take it on the chin.

“It’s not anybody in the boardroom’s fault that we didn’t play well.”

Under Gibson‚ South Africa won a home Test series for the first time‚ but they also lost a home Test series to an Asian team for the first time; to Sri Lanka.

“Of course the country craves the World Cup‚ I understand that now‚” Gibson said.

“I probably get that more than ever.

"But losing that Test series to Sri Lanka [last season]‚ with the team that they brought there and with the team that we had when we had just beaten Pakistan [3-0‚ in a Test series]‚ that hurts as much.”

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