Cape Town - Former South African cricket captain Kepler Wessels has applauded Cricket South Africa for appointing Ottis Gibson as new head coach of the Proteas.
Gibson was on Wednesday confirmed as the new coach of the Proteas, replacing Russell Domingo who was demoted to SA ‘A’ coach.
Via a column for SuperSport.com, Wessels said a change in coaching staff was needed.
“A lack of success at ICC events and a downturn in form over recent months necessitated a change. CSA has to be applauded that they were prepared to look outside the country in an effort to find a candidate who is likely to demand more from the players and has no baggage,” Wessels wrote.
“Gibson was by far the most suitable candidate for the job out of the applicants for the role. He understands the South African system, having played in South Africa for several years. He brings international coaching experience to the team, having been head coach of the West Indies and bowling coach for England.
"The experience he picked up as head coach for the West Indies team will stand him in good stead. He found himself under pressure there on a number of occasions in difficult circumstances in a coaching situation that wasn't easy. He had to deal with a player transition there much the same as he will have to in South Africa going forward.”
Wessels is also happy to see Gibson will be a allowed to pick his own support staff.
“He will be wise to cut down on a support staff that was far too big in recent times,” Wessels continued.
Gibson’s contract will run from mid-September when he starts preparing the squad for the home series against Bangladesh until the conclusion of the ICC World Cup in mid-2019.
Gibson is currently the bowling coach of the England Test team and has previously served as head coach of the West Indies.
As a player, Gibson, 48, had a distinguished playing career for the West Indies, representing them in two Test matches - the second of which was the New Year Test at Newlands in 1999 - and 15 ODIs as an all-rounder between 1995 and 1999.
In addition, he played more than 400 matches, principally for his native Barbados, across the three formats that included spells with Border, Gauteng and Griqualand West, as well as several England counties.
“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 said on Wednesday.
CLICK HERE to read Kepler Wessels' full column on SuperSport.com