Johannesburg - Contrary to widespread reports, Proteas head coach Russell Domingo is one of the coaches shortlisted for his position at the conclusion of the team’s tour of England.
Reports suggested Domingo, who is currently preparing the Proteas for the four-Test series beginning on Thursday against England, had not reapplied for his job. But Cricket SA (CSA) spokesperson Altaaf Kazi confirmed that Domingo was one of those being considered for the post.
While Kazi refused to discuss the rest of the seven candidates “to respect the process”, the spokesperson felt compelled to confirm that Domingo had expressed an interest in continuing in his job due to the growing speculation, most of it false, around whether he had.
A CSA insider said Domingo – whose name features in the hat with those of Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana, former West Indies batsman Phil Simmons, former Proteas all-rounder Lance Klusener, former Border, Titans and Pakistan coach Richard Pybus, former Titans coach Rob Walter and former Proteas coaching staffer Paddy Upton – has already been interviewed.
Explaining how the impression was created that Domingo had not reapplied, the official said maybe it was because in his initial declaration of interest, the link he’d sent to CSA for his CV had not worked, putting a question mark on his application until he submitted a physical copy of the document.
Regarding the process going forward, Kazi said the panel assembled to decide on the new coach – former Proteas coaches Gary Kirsten and Eric Simons, independent board member Norman Arendse, HR specialist Oupa Nkagiseng and board member Rihan Richards – would make their recommendation at CSA’s board meeting on July 21.
“We’ll probably make the announcement just after the fourth Test against England [which concludes on August 8],” said Kazi.
Whether Domingo’s decision to reapply for his job will keep him in it is a moot point, given how his team has frittered away most of the goodwill it had created with a sensational run of winning every series it was involved in from July last year with an early exit from the ICC Champions Trophy and two series defeats (one-day international and T20) against England in the past month.
Most concerning from those results was the Proteas again capitulating in the Champions Trophy the moment they got into pressure games, almost making a mockery of the new team culture that was hailed as responsible for the majority of the past year’s results.
Looking at Domingo’s would-be replacements, Toyana is probably the favourite after rebuilding the Lions as a winning team and producing a steady stream of players for the Proteas. Walter, who is coaching the Otago Volts in New Zealand after winning trophies in all three formats in his two-year stint with the Titans, would be next in line.
Upton, a fitness trainer-cum-mental strength and leadership guru in sport, is a curious case because what he specialises in is what the Proteas desperately need.
Klusener, currently the assistant coach for Zimbabwe, had a promising run at the Dolphins before one or two player bust-ups gave his bosses the impression he’d lost charge of the dressing room, resulting in his contract not being renewed.
Simmons, the former Ireland and West Indies coach and current consultant to Afghanistan, offers the international aspect of the interest.