TELFORD VICE in London
YES, Russell Domingo has applied for his job. Yes, he wants to keep it. No, he doesn’t want to say much more than that.
South Africa’s coach has finally filled the vacuum of vagueness on the issue that was created on January 28, when Cricket South Africa (CSA) said they had decided to “commence the recruitment process for the appointment of the Proteas head coach”.
Domingo has not taken the several opportunities he has had since then to give firm answers to the inevitable questions, perhaps because he had not made up his mind. He has now.
“I have forwarded my application form and I have gone through an interview,” Domingo said on Monday.
He must have cut it fine, considering that on June 13 he said he had “not yet” applied. Applications closed on June 16.
When did he put his hand up, officially?
“Before the closing date,” he said. “When is not too important as long as it’s before the closing date.”
Which would imply Domingo wants stay on in a position he has filled more successfully than his predecessor, the highly regarded Gary Kirsten, since July 2013.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s a fantastic honour to work with this team.
“I’ve loved my time with it an hopefully I can continue.
“If not, it’s in the best interests of the team. I’ve had a fantastic run and loved every single minute of it.
“It’s not my decision — it’s up to the board.”
Speaking of which, the matter could have been handled with more intelligence and foresight. Instead, speculation has been allowed to run rampant.
“It’s never ideal, and it’s just part of coaching,” Domingo said. “I’ve always said you never know what’s round the corner. That’s the way it is.
“It’s a process that has to be followed and I’ve got to respect that process. So be it.”
What had helped Domingo decide to throw his hat in the ring?
“A whole host of things,” he said. “No. 1, family life, which is important. No. 2, the performance of the team, which is obviously important — whether you feel you’re the right guy to take the team forward, whether the team’s showing signs of improvement in all formats. Player support is massively important.”
He would have been heartened, then, by senior players like AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar vocally coming out in favour of his retention.
“The most important support you need is from your players,” Domingo said. “We work with these players day in, day out.
“I’ve loved my time working with them and, obviously, by the support they’ve shown they’ve enjoyed what we’ve offered the team. That is satisfying.”
The idea that someone else might be in charge of his team after the tour to England ends on August 8 did not seem to trouble him.
“It’s not something I go to bed thinking about or wake up in the morning thinking about,” Domingo said.
Not so the rest of cricketminded South Africa, who are crossing off the days until July 21 — when a panel appointed by CSA to recommend a candidate for the job Domingo currently holds meets with the board.
That’s 18 days from Tuesday. And counting.