TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
SA’S results this season have prompted Cricket SA (CSA) to extend Russell Domingo’s contract as coach of the national team.
Oddly, CSA have done so in terms of their review of domestic cricket and without waiting for the outcome of the ongoing review of the national team’s performance.
Victories in a test series against New Zealand in August and a one-day rubber against Australia in October would seem to have taken the edge of SA’s performance last season, when they lost five and won only one of the eight tests they played against India and England.
“Naturally the performances of the Proteas was a key factor in the board’s unanimous decision,” CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat was quoted as saying in a release.
“The recent 1-0 … test series win against New Zealand and the impressive 5-0 win in the … ODI series against world champions Australia, resulting in us being the first nation to achieve a clean sweep against them, were noted.
“In addition the excellent Proteas discipline and the positive culture throughout the coaching team, the player leadership group and the rest of the players were viewed as exemplary.”
Domingo’s current contract expires at the end of April, a month after their tour to New Zealand.
The extension keeps him in the job until the end of SA’s tour to England in August, which means he will also be in charge for the imminent test series in Australia, Sri Lanka’s tour to SA, the New Zealand tour and the Champions Trophy in England in June.
“As part of the domestic cricket review we are currently evaluating the entire coaching framework in SA and the board believed the best approach at present was to extend the tenure of Mr Domingo until the end of the England tour in 2017,” Lorgat was quoted as saying.
“This decision is final and is not dependent on the national team review which is currently in progress.”
That is sure to spark theories that CSA secured Domingo’s future to protect him from the national team review’s recommendations.
He has been in charge for 136 matches across all formats of which SA have won 75 and lost 50.
Domingo became the first SA coach to win a test series in Sri Lanka since 1993 in July 2014, and in March last year he became the only coach to take SA past the first knockout hurdle at a World Cup when they won their quarter-final against Sri Lanka.
But SA have won only nine of the 25 tests they have played since Domingo took charge.
Before last season’s disappointments SA had been on top of the rankings for all but three of the preceding 39 months.
They spiralled to No. 7 and are now fifth.