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Gibson under CSA microscope

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The Proteas endured their worst World Cup campaign in England, winning just three out of nine matches and were eliminated from the running for a play-off spot two weeks before the semi-finals took place

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Cricket South Africa’s Board of Directors will pore over an ‘executive summary’ tomorrow morning before deciding if it wants to renew Ottis Gibson’s contract as head coach of the national men’s team.

Gibson’s contract is understood to end in September and at face value at least, his failure to achieve the primary goal of getting the team to the final of the 2019 World Cup would suggest he will no longer coach the team.

The Proteas endured their worst World Cup campaign in England, winning just three out of nine matches and were eliminated from the running for a play-off spot two weeks before the semi-finals took place.

The ‘executive summary’ that the Board will assess includes reports from Gibson, captain Faf du Plessis and the SA team’s manager Mohammed Moosajee.

The rest of the World Cup playing squad and the medical staff also submit answers as part of a ‘question and answer’ form but those are not expected to be critical to the Board’s discussions tomorrow.

Gibson was appointed to the head coaching position at the end of August in 2017, on the back of South Africa’s poor tour of England, where they lost a Test series 3-1, and were eliminated from the Champions Trophy in the group stages.

During his tenure South Africa achieved a 62 percent win rate across all three formats with his most notable achievement being home Test series’s wins against India and Australia in the 2017/18 season. The Australian triumph was historic, in that it was the first by a South African team in the post-isolation era and meant the Proteas had beaten each of the major Test playing nations home and away since 1992.

However those triumphs have been off-set by the failed World Cup campaign and the home Test series loss to Sri Lanka earlier this year. When he returned to briefly to the country, following South Africa’s World Cup exit, Gibson acknowledged that CSA’s Board would have to weigh up the significance of the team’s achievement along with those defeats to determine his future

“If you look at the World Cup in isolation perhaps it looks like I haven’t achieved enough. In the last 18 months, it’s a different picture. It will be a matter of perspective for (CSA’s) hierarchy to answer,” Gibson said.

In addition, the Board is also expected to discuss the appointment of a Director of Cricket, who will oversee all aspects related to national teams and draw up a plan for the 2023 World Cup.

The Proteas’ next assignment is a tour to India in September where they will play three Tests and three T20 Internationals. The Test series forms part of the inaugural ICC Test Championship.

Tomorrow’s special Board meeting comes at the end of a busy week for Cricket SA’s administrators who have been locked in meetings about the changes to the domestic structure, which has left the federation at loggerheads with its players, drawing up a stratergy for the Mzansi Super League and the plans for the critical negotiations for the next broadcast deal, which are central to CSA’s plans to get out of the financial mess it faces.

This week’s meetings are understood to have been robust, with one insider claiming some talks were “difficult.”