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World Cup questions still unanswered after Cricket SA board meets

Proteas' captain Faf du Plessis and head coach Ottis Gibson's future will be discussed at a Cricket South Africa board meeting on August 1 2019.
Proteas' captain Faf du Plessis and head coach Ottis Gibson's future will be discussed at a Cricket South Africa board meeting on August 1 2019.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Ottis Gibson’s future with South Africa’s men’s team is in limbo until at least August 1.

That’s when Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) board will meet to continue the conversation they started on Saturday.

CSA have said Gibson was hired to guide South Africa to triumph‚ or at least to the final‚ at the 2019 World Cup.

They didn’t come close‚ winning only three of their eight completed games and crashing out of contention for a place in the semi-finals with two of their league matches still to be played.

CSA’s board met on Saturday‚ and while the abject failure of the Cricket World Cup campaign was discussed it seems finality wasn’t reached on what should be done.

Asked whether there would be a change in the coaching job‚ about other personnel changes — CSA are planning to appoint a director of cricket — and what the board planned to do about South Africa’s performance‚ a spokesperson said the “board has kindly asked that no comments be made until the next sitting (1 August 2019) in Pretoria”.

TimesLIVE understands that the board were presented with a report prepared by Faf du Plessis‚ Gibson‚ team manager Mohammed Moosajee and selection convenor Linda Zondi at Saturday’s meeting.

But sources say the questions asked of them “lacked substance”‚ and that “it seems like some board members had no understanding” of the report.

The chair of CSA’s medical committee‚ Shuaib Manjra‚ was present to answer questions on the slew of injuries that struck the South Africans during the tournament.

Dale Steyn went home without playing a game because of a shoulder problem‚ a hamstrung Lungi Ngidi missed three matches‚ and Hashim Amla was out for a game after taking a blow to the helmet.

Anrich Nortjé broke his thumb days before the squad was due to leave and didn’t make it to England.

Saturday’s effort to get to the bottom of what went wrong was no doubt hampered by the absence from the meeting‚ TimesLIVE has learnt‚ of independent director Steve Cornelius.

A law professor at Pretoria University‚ Cornelius resigned from the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) disciplinary tribunal in May over the IAAF’s treatment of Caster Semenya.

In a letter to IAAF president Sebastian Coe‚ Cornelius wrote: “On deep moral grounds I cannot see myself being part of a system in which I may well be called upon to apply regulations which I deem to be fundamentally flawed.”

Cornelius made his decision in response to the IAAF’s new regulations on testosterone levels in female athletes‚ which put Semenya at a severe disadvantage.

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