Proteas lose Raja, gain Upton

2011-06-23 07:41
Goolam Rajah (Gallo Images)
Eduan Roos

Johannesburg - Goolam Rajah, a long-serving management member of the South African cricket team, will soon hand over the reins ... and the Proteas will also soon be able to call on the services of one of the world's leading sports psychologists.

Those were the decisions taken on Wednesday when new Proteas coach Gary Kirsten and his management team held their first brainstorming session on the way forward.

Kirsten was appointed as successor to Corrie van Zyl at the beginning of the month following South Africa's shock defeat at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup tournament on the sub-continent.

On Wednesday, Kirsten met with assistant coaches Russell Domingo and Allan Donald, as well as the rest of the Proteas management team, at O.R. Tambo Airport.

Sport24 understands that Rajah, who has been involved with the South Africans since 1991, will hand down the reins as logistics manager after the home series against Australia.

The former world champions arrive in October for two Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games.

Paddy Upton is set to join up with the team at its training camp in Pretoria or George at the end of next month.

The 42-year-old Capetonian was one of the South Africans in Kirsten's coaching team when India won the World Cup for the first time in 28 years in April.

He replaces Henning Gericke, who was the psychologist for the triumphant Springbok team during the 2007 World Cup and worked with the Proteas for the past year.

Upton will only be used as a consultant and won't be a permanent appointment.

However, there is still no place for Jonty Rhodes, who is one of the game's best fielders of all time.

Kirsten had earlier said that he was considering bringing Rhodes on board as fielding coach. For now that responsibility will fall under fitness coach Rob Walter.

Rhodes was previously involved with the Proteas and helped Kenya with their fielding during their disastrous World Cup campaign.

Meanwhile, the Warriors are expected to appoint Piet Botha as replacement for Domingo on Thursday.

Domingo, who coached the Eastern Cape franchise to two domestic titles in 2009, had to resign his job when he accepted Kirsten's Proteas offer.

Botha (44) represented the erstwhile Border and Transvaal in 118 first-class games and has been the Warriors' assistant coach since 2004.

Read more on:    cape town  |  johannesburg

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