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Cricket South Africa (CSA), in January, had announced that it would advertise for the post of team’s head coach after the expiry of Russell Domingo’s contract in August.
Domingo, on the other hand, seemed non-committal over whether he wanted to extend his stay with the Proteas. And after Domingo looked hesitant in confirming his willingness to continue in his post, CSA announced a five-man panel including former India coach Gary Kirsten to recommend a candidate for the coaching job.
Speculations about Domingo’s future only elevated after he confirmed that he had not yet reapplied for his job following South Africa’s disastrous exit from the Champions Trophy.
Ending all speculations, Russell Domingo has re-applied for the post of South Africa’s head coach. And while expressed his desire of continuing in a position that he has occupied for the last four years, he said the decision is now beyond his control. Domingo, whose contract will end at the end of South Africa’s Test series in England, was given three extensions since he was originally appointed in 2013.
“I have forwarded an application form and gone through an interview,” said Domingo. “It’s a fantastic honour to work with this team and I’ve loved my time working with it. Hopefully, I can continue. If not, it shows it’s in the best interests of the team. I’ve had a fantastic run of it thus far and loved every minute of it. It’s not my decision, it’s up to the board.”
Reasons Of Uncertainty:
Speaking about why he was hesitant to re-apply for the post in the previous months, Domingo said:
“Number one is obviously family life, which is obviously important. Number two, the performance of the team – whether you feel you are the right guy to take the team forward, whether they are showing signs of improvement in all formats. Player support is massively important. Those are the things you have to weigh up when you try to decide whether you want to stay on or not.”
On CSA’s Decision Of Inviting Application:
The decision from the cricket board was initially seen as a mandatory administrative process but with the passage of time, many were convinced that it was done to bring a new man at the helm.
“I’ll be honest with you, if that is it, then so be it. It’s cool. It’s out of my control,” he said. “It’s not something I go to bed thinking about or wake up in the morning thinking about. It’s not something that generally affects me. I can’t comment on what the particular feeling is towards how people are seeing (the process). It’s out of my control. It’s not the way I see it, and the way I see it is that there’s due process that needs to take place. They need to decide if I’m the right guy to take the team forward and so be it. That’s how it is.”
With the South African team undergoing a transformation, CSA seems to be in favour of appointing a local coach and Geoff Toyana, who has won four trophies in five seasons with the Lions franchise, is thought to be the front-runner to bag the job. Richard Pybus, who has also applied for Team India coach’s post, is also seen as a strong candidate.
One thing that might pave the way for Domingo is the support he enjoys in the dressing room. The recent months have seen the likes of Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar and AB de Villiers throwing their support behind their coach.
“The most important support that you need is from your players. We work with them day in and day out and I’ve loved my time with them,” said Domingo. “Obviously the support that they’ve shown shows that they’ve enjoyed what we’ve offered the team, so that is satisfying for me.”