England bowling coach Ottis Gibson has been appointed by South Africa as their new head coach across all three formats, replacing Russell Domingo. Cricket South Africa and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed the announcement on Wednesday (August 30). Gibson will take up his new post following the third Test at Lord’s between England and Windies in mid-September ahead of their series against Bangladesh. His contract will run until the end of the 2019 World Cup.
Gibson has had two stints as England’s bowling coach, the second of which began in 2015. This, however, will be his second post as an international head coach after taking charge of Windies between 2010 to 2014 and he has experience of South African cricket after spells as a player with Border, Grqualand West and Gauteng.
“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,” said Gibson. “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.”
CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said it had been a “rigorous process” to decide on Domingo’s successor and that Gibson’s “credentials are impressive”.
Under Domingo, who has been in charge of South Africa for four years, South Africa’s recent record in Test cricket was good, winning series’ against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, but CSA had long decided they wanted a change, even before the disappointing 3-1 loss to England this summer. It is, perhaps, a good time for a fresh voice with a number of younger players such as Temba Bavuma coming through and the need to improve the bowling stocks – Gibson’s expertise – given Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are coming towards the end of the careers.
Interestingly, Domingo has been retained within South Africa’s development system. He has been appointed as coach of South Africa ‘A’ with Shukri Conrad returning to his previous position as head coach of the National Academy. “I would like to thank Russell Domingo for his positive contributions during his time with the Proteas and I am delighted he will remain in our setup,” said Lorgat. “This is an important position that prepares our up-and-coming players in the next stage of their journey to become potential Proteas.”
Gibson will be a heavy loss for England given his good standing within the current squad. Stuart Broad praised Gibson’s impact after he became England’s second highest Test wicket-taker at Edgbaston last week. The search for a replacement will begin imminently ahead of the Ashes series this winter and the main task for whoever is successful will be to develop a battery of fast bowlers to take over the mantle when Anderson, and in the longer term, Broad move on.
There are a number of candidates for the role including Middlesex’s bowling coach Richard Johnson, Leicestershire’s Graeme Welch and Essex’s Head Coach Chris SIlverwood. Cricbuzz understands that Sussex’s Jon Lewis and Steffan Jones, who was the bowling consultant for Hobart Hurricanes in last season’s Big Bash, are considering applying for the job.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to Ottis Gibson for his services to English cricket,” said Andrew Strauss, Director, England Cricket. “His experience, tactical awareness and understanding of bowling in all conditions has benefited our approach and has helped our bowling unit develop greatly across all formats of the game. He is an ambitious man and when this opportunity presented itself it was difficult for him to turn down. On behalf of the ECB, I would like to wish him every success in the next chapter of his career.”