End of Domingo era looms

Times Media


IT is increasingly likely South Africa will have a new coach after their tour of England, when Russell Domingo’s contract runs out.

Almost as apparent is that Domingo’s replacement will be Geoff Toyana, who is currently in charge of the Lions.

Toyana is understood to have applied for the job, along with former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus and Rob Walter — who both have first-hand experience of the South African system from stints with the Titans.

Malibongwe Maketa, who has been the Warriors’ head coach in an acting and later a permanent capacity since December 2014, South Africa A coach Shukri Conrad and former Ireland and West Indies boss Phil Simmons are also reportedly in the mix.

However, Toyana has long been Domingo’s heir apparent. He has won four trophies in five seasons at the Wanderers and has produced eight internationals, facts that will stand him in good stead as Cricket South Africa (CSA) look to transform the game.

A committee consisting of former South Africa coaches Gary Kirsten and Eric Simons and three CSA board members has been tasked with recommending, in the words of a release on May 18, “a suitable candidate” to the board.

It seems all that can prevent Toyana from being that candidate is his lack of international experience, both as a player and a coach, to bolster the 84 first-class caps he won as a batsman, most of them for Easterns, the Titans and Gauteng.

But CSA took a leap of faith in Domingo — who did not reach first-class level as a player — in 2013, and he has repaid that faith by guiding his team to victory in 94 of his 168 matches in charge.

That’s a success rate of 55.95%. Kirsten, one of the most respected coaches in the game, won 55.74% of his matches as South Africa’s coach.

On Thursday, a CSA spokesperson would not comment on whether Domingo had tried to keep his job but confirmed that interviews had been held and that the committee would make its recommendation to the board on July 21.

“An announcement on the coaching position will be made after the test series against England,” the spokesperson said.

Which could mean that nothing will change. However, members of the management team said during South Africa’s tour to New Zealand in March that “we’ll be gone after England”.

That might mean a wholesale cleanout is on the cards, from Domingo to his assistant, Adrian Birrell, batting consultant Neil McKenzie, bowling coach Charl Langeveldt, and even longterm support staff like Mohammed Moosajee, who was appointed team manager in April 2008.

Domingo was due to return to England on Thursday have gone home last week to be with his mother after she suffered an accident.

It is understood he could slip into a lower profile role within CSA after the England tour, possibly as South Africa A’s coach.


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