Ottis Gibson has been appointed as the head coach of the South Africa team.
Gibson, the former West Indies seamer, will leave his role as England bowling coach at the end of the Investec Test series against West Indies. He has previously been head coach of West Indies (2010-2014), during which time he helped lead the side to success in the 2012 World T20.
ESPNcricinfo had previously reported that a compensation package had been agreed between Cricket South Africa and the ECB to allow Gibson to leave his ECB contract early.
“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,” Gibson said. “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.”
The news confirms the departure of Russell Domingo who has moved to the role of head coach of the A side. He was the South Africa coach for the last four years but was obliged to reapply for his job when CSA announced it would be reviewing its options for the position in January; a stance originally explained as an exercise in corporate governance.
Ultimately, however, the five-man panel charged with appointing the coach – a panel that included former national coaches Gary Kirsten and Eric Simons – concluded that Gibson would be a better option. Domingo’s next assignment will see him coach Pretoria Mavericks in the T20 Global League.
Haroon Lorgat, the CSA chief executive, said: “On behalf of the board, 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 as head coach of the South Africa A side. This is an important position that prepares our up-and-coming players in the next stage of their journey to become potential Proteas. I must also thank the ECB for their understanding and co-operation in releasing Ottis from his current contract.”
Gibson, who played domestic cricket in South Africa, has had two spells as England’s bowling coach. He first joined them in 2007 and remained with them until he took the West Indies job in 2010. He returned to the ECB in 2015.
It is understood that the ECB will advertise for a new bowling coach immediately. Richard Johnson (who is currently with Middlesex), Graeme Welch (who is currently with Leicestershire) and Steffan Jones (who is currently freelance) are all thought likely to apply. There may also be short-term consultancy roles for the likes of Darren Gough available.
“Ottis has played a vital role in our progress over the past few years,” Trevor Bayliss, the England head coach, said. “His knowledge of the international game and the way he has supported all our bowlers in their development has been immeasurable.
“He will no doubt relish the challenge of becoming a head coach once again and coupled with his strong affinity with South African cricket, he will look to take them forward.”
“I would like to place on record my thanks to Ottis Gibson for his services to English cricket,” Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket, said. “Ottis has been an integral part of the England team in his two stints as bowling coach. 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.” (ESPNCricinfo)