It was only a matter of time before Russell Domingo was replaced, but few would have guessed that his successor would be the current England bowling coach. Cricket South Africa has confirmed the appointment of Ottis Gibson as head coach of the Proteas across all three formats.
The 48-year-old former West Indies all-rounder was in charge of his home nation from 2010-2014, but has been with the Three Lions since then. He is set to replace Domingo after the conclusion of England’s Tests against West Indies in September and his contract will continue until the end of the ICC World Cup in 2019. Domingo is to take over the coaching of the SA A side.
During his playing career, Gibson represented West Indies in two Tests and 15 ODIs between 1995-1999 and earned acclaim for his genuinely quick bowling and hard-hitting lower-order batting. No stranger to South Africa, he also turned out for Border, Gauteng and Northern Cape.
Gibson commented: “I am delighted to embark on this new chapter in my coaching career and I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for giving me this opportunity and the England and Wales Cricket Board for their understanding of my position. I have spent a number of happy times in South Africa as a player and I am now looking forward to return as a coach.”
Gibson takes charge of the national team during a difficult time. The Proteas were comprehensively outplayed in all but one match of the recent Test series in England, which they lost 3-1. They also failed to inspire confidence in losing both the T20 and ODI series.
There are serious questions about the batting lineup and with several mainstays reaching the twilight of their careers and murmurs of discontent about the role of in again, out again AB de Villiers. One of Gibson’s first tasks will be to restore a sense of unity to a fractured side and with an eye to the future, blood young players. With series against Bangladesh (no longer the pushovers of old), Australia and India, it is set to be a big summer for the Proteas.