Faf wants Ottis to stay

South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis on the players balcony as rain delays the start of play during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and South Africa at Edgbaston on June 19, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Given how the Proteas’ World Cup campaign has gone, that might be an unpopular view.

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said on Friday that he hoped coach Ottis Gibson will continue in his position at least until the T20 World Cup in October/November 2020 in Australia.

While Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe has previously stated that winning the World Cup was a contractual obligation for Gibson, the organisation has softened that message in recent months, while Gibson has outright refuted it, saying he has a contract until the end of September whatever happens.

CSA are having a board meeting on July 20 and the future leadership of the Proteas is bound to be discussed.

But Du Plessis was unequivocal in his belief that Gibson should continue despite the sorry performance at the World Cup.

“I definitely want Ottis to stay on, we have a very good relationship. I hope his contract is renewed so we can go together through to the T20 World Cup, that was both of our plans with this World Cup and that one being close together. The one big thing about getting a new coach is that it means a lot of time needs to be put in building that new relationship, that’s always the challenge.

“Ottis and I have put a lot of investment into each other just to get to know each other. I guess there’s never a perfect time to get a new coach, but knowing what needs to change in South African cricket is probably way above my pay-grade. I think CSA are in a good place in terms of producing young cricketers, there are young guys jumping into the national team more than ever,” Du Plessis said at Old Trafford on Friday.

Despite South Africa’s sad tale at the World Cup, their performance widely being described as their worst ever at the tournament, Du Plessis said he did not believe there needed to be widespread change ahead of next summer.

“There is definitely still talent being produced and, barring this World Cup, we have been performing and when you’re winning there shouldn’t be any need for change. If we start losing consistently then you can start looking at making changes. We’re not yet at desperate times calling for desperate measures and I don’t feel our style of play needs to change in any way.

“It is easier though to play that way in a five-match series, in a World Cup the light really shines a lot more on your mistakes and form plays a big role too. It becomes difficult to trust that way of playing after a couple of things go wrong and you really rely on guys being in form. We’ve probably had too many players short of runs and wickets,” Du Plessis said.

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