Cape Town - The news that Allan Donald stepped down from his role as South
Africa’s bowling coach did not really come as a shock, with the writing
being pencilled on the wall for a while - and inked in after the 2015 Cricket World
According to the City Press website, now the question we’re asking is: Who will take over that job? Who
will lead some of the best bowlers in the world with enough know-how to
keep the likes of Dale Steyn motivated after a relatively poor 2015 so
The obvious, and highly probable, answer is Charl Langeveldt. The
former Proteas paceman has been “consulting” with the side for weeks,
even before the World Cup, and unlike other short-term helpers like Gary
Kirsten and Mike Hussey, he’s stuck around for all of it.
"Langes" last played for the Proteas in 2010, but continued until
September last year as a T20 player, and was hired this year ostensibly
as a “death-overs specialist”.
He played 72 ODIs for the Proteas, averaging under 30, and has the respect of the players.
If head coach Russell Domingo, who has been tasked with finding a
replacement for "White Lightning", does not go with Langeveldt, then where
should he look? Ottis Gibson is out, having taken the England bowling
coach role, while David Saker has gone back to Australia.
If we were to pick, we’d ask Shane Bond to send his CV in for
consideration. The former New Zealand paceman was the Black Caps’
bowling coach for a couple of years, and helped mould Trent Boult into
the bowler who took the joint most wickets at the World Cup.
Bond was often injured as a player, but was quick and accurate, and
could have been one of the greats if his body had cooperated. But his
talents lie in coaching, it seems, and he’s with the Mumbai Indians at
the Indian Premier League now. But that’s only six weeks long, so you
If not Bond, then who? This is never going to happen, given how
in-demand he is, but imagine if Cricket SA managed to snag Jason
Gillespie? The former Australian quick is Yorkshire’s very successful
head coach, leading them to the Division One championship last season,
and recently signed a deal to coach the Adelaide Strikers. This is
definitely a case of “if you can’t be with the one you love, then love
the one you’re with”.
A more entertaining, and local, option is Makhaya Ntini. Who better
to keep the players on their toes, with his high-pitched, excitable
banter, as well as his formidable Test and ODI records? He’s found on
the radio and TV more often these days, but tempting him away from the
studio could be a real coup.
On the down side, he could completely exhaust the bowlers through sheer speed of speech.
Moving away from the pacemen, let’s consider spin legend Shane Warne.
You’re balking at this idea, we know, but Warne does have experience
with mentoring the Proteas’ spinners, coaching leggie Imran Tahir as
recently as the World Twenty20 last year. This would mean he’d have to
give up his media work and poker, so it’s unlikely.