Cricket South Africa fires Barbadian-born coach

Former West Indies Cricket Coach Ottis Gibson.
Former West Indies’ and South Africa cricket coach, Ottis Gibson.
Former West Indies Cricket Coach Ottis Gibson.

After what was considered to be a dismal World Cup in England, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced a restricting plan that includes the firing of the team’s Barbadian-born coach, Ottis Gibson.

“I would like to thank Ottis Gibson, other members of the team’s current senior management, and our long-serving team manager, Dr Moosajee, for their national service to South African cricket,” CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said.

“I must stress that the new structure was not a rash decision,” he added. “It was taken after much deliberation by the Board, taking all the factors into consideration about the current state of our cricket and also the plan that we need to get to within the timelines we have set.

“This change will herald an exciting new era for SA cricket and will bring us into line with best practice in professional sport,” he added.

According to ESPNCricinfo, Gibson’s is not the only high-profile exit from the camp.

It said Dr. Mohammed Moosajee, whose tenure comes to an end in September, “expressed his wish not be considered for another term as joint team manager and team doctor, which the Board accepted, bringing an end his 16-year involvement with South Africa.”

Also on the way out is Linda Zondi, the convener of selectors. Zondi, who was part of the selection panel that picked the Under-19 World Cup-winning squad in 2014, had been a selector since 2013, becoming convener in 2015, ESPNCricinfo said.

It said media manager Lerato Malekutu has also resigned her position after nine years in a media role within the team.

ESPNCricinfo said the reshuffle will also affect assistant coach Malibongwe Maketa, and batting and fielding coaches Dale Benkenstein and Justin Ontong, “with CSA announcing that members of team management, including the various assistant coaches, will not be retained as part of the new plan.”

Ottis Delroy Gibson, who was born Mar.16, 1969, is former cricketer who played for the West Indies cricket team.

From 2010-2014, Gibson was the head coach for the West Indies, and previously twice worked as bowling coach for England, from 2007-2010 and again 2015-2017, according to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Gibson last coached the South African cricket team from 2017- 2019.

Gibson made two Test appearances for the West Indies. In his first outing against England in 1995, he picked up the wickets of Alec Stewart and Darren Gough in the first innings, finishing with figures of 2-81, but was less successful in the second with 0-51, Wikipedia said.

It said Gibson’s second appearance came in 1999 against South Africa. He took the wicket of Jacques Kallis in the first innings to end with 1-92, but in the second innings, again finished with 0-51.

Gibson was seen primarily as a one-day specialist – “his hard-hitting late middle-order batting was particularly effective in the closing overs of the innings”, Wikipedia said.

It said Gibson played in 15 One Day Internationals, top scoring with 52 against Australia and taking best figures of 5-42 against Sri Lanka. He took another 5-wicket haul against the same opposition and two four-fors, finishing with an impressive bowling average of 18.26.

On Oct. 30, 2017, Gibson took over the role of South Africa’s fast bowling coach from Charl Langeveldt, with Langeveldt retained as a roving consultant for franchise cricket.

But, on Aug. 4 2019, Gibson and his entire South African coaching team and management lost their jobs, CSA announced.

“The decision, taken during a board meeting, follows a disastrous South African World Cup campaign in which the Proteas finished seventh of the 10 teams,” Wikipedia said.

More from Around NYC