JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe says a place in the World Cup final is the minimum target for the Proteas in England and would be enough for CSA to offer Ottis Gibson an extension of his contract as the national side’s coach.
That is a slightly revised goal from the one Moroe mentioned in February when he said only victory in the 50-over showpiece would suffice, although it remains a lofty ambition as no South African team has played in a World Cup final.
Gibson’s future remains up in the air, although Moroe said yesterday he has held talks with the 50-year-old. “We had a very positive talk with Ottis, he is open to continuing.”
Gibson’s contract ends after South Africa’s last match at the World Cup, which starts in England at the end of next month.
“But it is for the (CSA) Board to evaluate his performances, his KPIs with what he’s achieved for us thus far, what changes they would like to see, and they will obviously communicate that to (CSA) management and then management will sit with the coach. It is also up to the coach to look at the terms of any new contract and if he’s agreeable to those.”
Gibson was appointed in August 2017 with a specific mandate of winning the World Cup.
“Ottis was hired to win the World Cup but at the very least, the chairperson of the Board said he must qualify for the final. That would augur very well for us as CSA,” said Moroe.
Gibson and selection convener Linda Zondi are the process of finalising the 15-man squad for the World Cup and Moroe reiterated they would be under no pressure to meet any racial targets.
“It is up to them what the final 15 will look like. I would like to think they will have that (target) picture in mind. Most importantly, the final 15 will be the best that we have in the country.”
Moroe added that the Gibson, Zondi and skipper Faf du Plessis would have final say on the starting XIs in England, thus avoiding the controversy before the semi-final in Auckland four years ago when it is believed that a CSA directive led to Kyle Abbott being dropped from the team that faced New Zealand.
Zondi will name the squad on April 18. They will gather in Cape Town for the first half of a week-long training camp. South Africa will face England in the opening match of the World Cup on May 30 at The Oval.