“Bavuma has revealed so considerably guarantee. I actually believe he is acquired the method to become one particular of South Africa’s greatest player” – Domingo © Getty
“This actually does search like the departure lounge,” joked Russell Domingo as he stepped into a stairwell at Aged Trafford for what he predicted would be his final engagement with the media as South Africa mentor. The situations may possibly have been sombre, specifically with South Africa acquiring just misplaced a Check collection 3-1 to England, but Domingo is the kind of person who seldom stops smiling.
In actuality, it would be tricky to uncover any person who does not like Domingo as a human being, which makes his procedure by Cricket South Africa all the much more disdainful. It is one particular issue to determine that the nationwide staff necessary a new affect, but pretty an additional to string the present mentor together for the greater section of seven months – all the even though pretending that he could but be held on – only for the identity of his successor to be leaked in the media in the course of his final match in charge.
That successor is predicted to be England bowling mentor Ottis Gibson, whose appointment appears to be like set to be verified in the coming times at the time the specifics of his agreement are labored out. If Domingo felt hard completed-by at needing to cross paths with Gibson at the stop of the Check collection, he did not present it when he gave the West Indian a specific embrace as the teams shook arms. If he harbours ill-sensation in the direction of CSA about his procedure, he is not demonstrating that possibly.
“It’s been a very long time, I suppose,” he stated of the course of action that has hung about him because CSA announced by using a press release on January 28 that they would be inspecting their options. “Hopefully there will be some finality in the subsequent couple of times. I’m not certain what’s happening, but by all media accounts, from what I’m led to believe there is some course of action using place at the second, so we will hold out and see when I get back property.
“It’s the daily life of a mentor – what happens, happens. I’m assuming, from what I’m reading, that my time is completed, but that is the way it is. I need to have to uncover work someplace.”
There has been communicate that Domingo could get about the South Africa A facet, or work someplace in the South African system. “I might like to keep in South African cricket,” he verified. “I have acquired a youthful relatives, my roots are in South Africa, I want to keep in South Africa. Whichever level I mentor at, that is my career, that is what I love undertaking and as very long as I can engage in some section in South African cricket I am going to be happy to keep.”
With that sort of mindset, South Africa will be fortunate to have him – irrespective of how any person may possibly see his work with the nationwide staff. Judging Domingo’s tenure has often associated a discussion close to the players that South Africa have misplaced. Gary Kirsten may perhaps have taken the plaudits for remaining in charge when South Africa ascended to the No 1 ranking in Check cricket, but he did so with a Check staff that need to undoubtedly be witnessed as South Africa’s greatest because isolation. Given that Kirsten’s departure in 2013, Domingo has been left to choose up the pieces as a string of legends retired and South Africa’s output line dried up.
“It’s been tricky,” he stated. “I took about a facet that was proven, then misplaced a whole lot of players, went by means of a dip, re-proven to some diploma, misplaced a couple of players once again. We sort of proven a little something once again, but then we misplaced Dale (Steyn), Vernon (Philander, in the course of the 2015/16 year) and AB (de Villiers) and that sets you back a very little bit much more. Then you shed (Kyle) Abbott, you shed (Rilee) Rossouw… those holes can be hard to fill.”
That looks a fair assessment of South Africa’s problems, specifically presented occasions in England. And it is really worth pointing out that South Africa’s gain share in all formats underneath Domingo (56.2%) was greater than Kirsten (54.5%), but reduced than Bob Woolmer (64.6%), who coached a one particular-day device that was as superior as any South Africa have boasted. “With the problems, the team’s completed okay,” stated Domingo.
Nevertheless, he accepts that his successor will have his work cut out for him, specially with the Check facet. South Africa are still rated 2nd in Checks and very first in ODIs but as Domingo has identified, their means are diminishing.
“South Africa is lucky that we will often make superior youthful cricketers simply because of our education system,” he stated. “The obstacle is retaining the players within just the system. You could choose a pretty powerful facet from the players participating in overseas. Which is the significant obstacle struggling with South African cricket… it truly is about offering alternatives for all those players to function in our system, somehow.”
To that stop he sees some potential in the start of the T20 International League, suggesting it could unearth some new expertise but also enable CSA to stem the movement of players to other 2020 competitions close to the world.
And even though various new faces have struggled to make an quick effect in Check cricket as they try to replace a golden technology, Domingo does see a great deal of guarantee in the squad.
“I imagine Keshav (Maharaj) is likely to be the greatest spinner South Africa’s at any time experienced,” he stated. “Temba Bavuma has revealed so considerably guarantee. I actually believe he is acquired the method to become one particular of South Africa’s greatest players. But you have acquired to persevere with him, you can’t just following 20 Checks – simply because he is averaging 30 – get rid of him. You have acquired to invest in those types of players. You have acquired to give them time to produce. It’s straightforward to chop and modify… I was just listening to the commentary Keaton Jennings acquired a hundred in India and Nasser Hussain was expressing ‘spectacular youthful player, what a expertise he’ll be’, and four Checks later on they’re all questioning him.
“You have acquired to give players time to settle in and uncover their toes, simply because at the second you will find a significant phase up from domestic cricket to intercontinental cricket.”
And with that, Domingo was off. Out of the departure lounge and into the authentic world. He does not know what cricket holds in keep for him, but on Thursday morning he will be back property in Port Elizabeth, acquiring a cup of espresso with his spouse prior to selecting his little ones up from faculty. He will look at his successor with interest, but also with his head held large.