Look local for coach: Procter

2011-02-11 13:11
Mike Procter (File)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – South Africa’s first post-isolation cricket coach, Mike Procter, would favour a home-grown personality taking the national team’s reins after the World Cup.

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And Procter told Sport24 on Friday that he felt Mickey Arthur’s success in the role, after being plucked from the domestic franchise landscape, should serve as an example of this route being an apt one.

He did not want to be drawn, though, on who he felt would be the ideal appointee once interim Proteas mastermind Corrie van Zyl returns to his High Performance role after the looming World Cup on the Subcontinent.

The former South Africa all-rounder, ICC match referee and national selection chief was speaking in the wake of reports that Stephen Fleming, the retired New Zealand captain and coach of Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, had joined the race to get the job.

More familiar “local” personalities Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher – albeit that the latter is Harare-born -- had been more routinely linked with the portfolio until Fleming’s apparent arrival from left field.

Applications to Cricket South Africa for the position finally close next Friday, after an extension to an earlier deadline was given.

“I’ve always fancied the idea of a South African coaching the side,” said Procter. “We’re a different country to (most others) with some aspects that are special to us.

“It would be quite hard for a coach to come in from outside our local systems, especially being less knowledgeable than most on our domestic game.

“When I was convenor of the selectors, for instance, I took lots of cognisance of the local scene and I like to think that was reflected in some of our picks for the Proteas.”

Procter was part of the panel who appointed Johannesburg-born Arthur, a former Griquas and Free State batsman, as national coach, despite some analysts’ concerns about his relative lack of experience at the time.

During Arthur’s coaching tenure, South Africa won a Test series in Australia for the first time and also a first triumph in England for several decades.

“There were also some overseas candidates at the time we opted for Mickey, and he went on to do a tremendous job,” said Procter.

He did indicate that he was not wholly opposed to an outside appointee: “Sometimes going that route can be a breath of fresh air, with some new ideas coming (to the table), so there are pros and cons to the issue.

“I just hope the powers that be get it right in the end, because it is such an important responsibility.”

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