Prince calls out Proteas coach Gibson over Verreynne

2019-03-26 06:51
Kyle Verreynne (Gallo)
Kyle Verreynne (Gallo)

Cape Town - Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince has called out Proteas coach Ottis Gibson, suggesting that he is not in touch with what is happening in domestic cricket. 

Gibson, who has been in charge of the Proteas since September 2017, is currently preparing for this year's Cricket World Cup in England where he is looking to guide South Africa to their first-ever success at that tournament. 

The former England bowling coach and West Indian international has enjoyed a largely successful tenure in charge of the Proteas that has included home Test series wins over India and Australia.

Those returns, combined with South Africa's impressive recent limited overs form, have left most critics satisfied. 

The Proteas did, however, lose 2-0 to Sri Lanka on their own turf.

It was the first time ever that a team from the subcontinent had ever won a Test series in South Africa.

World Cup hype and South Africa's dominance over the same opposition in the limited overs formats have seen that series quickly forgotten, but the batting frailties that were exposed against Sri Lanka in the longest format did not escape Prince's eye.

The conversation at Newlands on Monday ahead of the Cobras' One Day Cup semi-final against the Titans at Centurion on Wednesday centred around Kyle Verreynne.

Still just 21, the wicketkeeper/batsman has been in superb form for the Western Cape franchise in both red ball and white ball cricket for some time now. 

Verreynne is the third-highest run-scorer in this season's One day Cup, with 388 at a healthy average of 64.66.

In this season's 4-day Challenge Verreynne scored 583 at 44.84.

It is in the shorter format, though, where Prince backs the youngster most immediately.

"My feelings are well-documented. I backed him as an outsider and potential second wicketkeeper for the World Cup," Prince, with 66 Tests and 52 ODIs to his name, said.

"I have my reasons for that ... I work with him and I know what he's capable of."

Up until recently, Heinrich Klaasen was the front-runner in the race to being back-up 'keeper to Quinton de Kock in England, but now it looks like the Proteas will go to the World Cup without that role at all. 

Instead, David Miller has been primed to take the gloves should the need arise. 

Prince would have it differently if he was in charge.

"Regardless of the situation, he steps up every time," he said of Verreynne.

"It's those types of players that I'm really impressed by; people who stand up in tough situations.

"He's sleight in figure, but he bats at almost 100% strike rate every time. The skill there is that he's not a big hitter and not somebody who just smashes boundaries; he is almost able to score off every ball and that's something that senior international players don't have.

"If I was a selector, particularly in One Day cricket, those are the types of skills you're looking for."

It was when further probed on Verreynne where Prince suggested that the national coach had never seen him play.

"As far as selection of the Proteas team is concerned, we don't have any influence on that. They obviously have their reasons for their choices," he said.

"He's a very competitive and motivated guy and I would say that playing for the Proteas is something that is very high up on his agenda. He is still young and there is a lot of time ahead.

"If I had any influence in the national team and with the way they batted this year in Test cricket, I would move Quinton (De Kock) to No 4, take the gloves off (him) and give them to Kyle. That's how much I back him, but that's my opinion.

"That's how good I think he is, and he would make 100s at No 7 as well.

"Sometimes I've got to wonder ... I don't think Ottis Gibson has ever seen Kyle Verreynne play any game of cricket," said Prince.

"That is what goes on in our cricket and it's out of our control, unfortunately."

Read more on:    cape cobras  |  proteas  |  cape town  |  cricket


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