South Africa coach Ottis Gibson is in no mood to call it quits despite the teams dismal World Cup campaign as he believes that he did not get enough time to prepare the Proteas for the big event.
Gibson had joined South Africa as head coach in August 2017 but he could not inspire the team to make it to the business end of the World Cup and it finished seventh in the points table with three wins from nine matches.
Asked what was the biggest challenge of his coaching tenure, Gibson said: “Time, I would say. Having enough time to build a team. We tried the whole positive and aggressive brand of cricket but you need time. “Sometimes it’s not going to work but you need time for that to bed in, for people to understand what it is that you are trying to get across and for people to understand their roles.”
Gibson’s contract as head coach is set to expire in September this year but he made it clear that he would want to stay on to help South Africa rebuild following the disappointing World Cup. “I want my job I love my job. I have to hear from them (CSA). The contract was always to mid-September 2019, so we’ll have to see,” Gibson said.
“From my point of view, we have had a disappointing World Cup and if you take the World Cup in isolation, you might feel the need for change. But if you look over the last two years, we have done some good things as well. We’ll have to wait and see how CSA look at the whole picture.”
South Africa had to deal with the retirement of the legendary AB de Villiers, injuries to some key players, and also off-field issues which included the financial crunch faced by the Cricket South Africa (CSA).
“In that time we’ve had retirements, we’ve had some people go off and Kolpak, we’ve had injuries – especially in the last six months or so. Hash (Hashim Amla) had a family situation to deal with. And then players that you felt were ready didn’t put the runs on the board, so you feel that you have to give them a little more time,” Gibson said.
“All in all, looking back on it now, you feel like you just wish you had a little bit more time. But you didn’t have that time. The World Cup was around the corner, and you had to deal with it.”
Gibson, who had a brief stint with England as a bowling coach between March 2015 and September 2017, said South Africa should follow the blueprint of the English side following their early ouster from the 2015 edition. “I worked with England after the last World Cup. It didn’t go right for them and they decided that they needed to change,” Gibson said.
“Trevor Bayliss came in in 2015 and he had from 2015 until now to build the team. Over the course of those four years, you’ve seen what he has done for the team.”
Gibson believes South Africa, the Proteas, have the resources to become a formidable force in the global game once again in the future.
“There is a lot of talent in South Africa. Whether that talent is ready to take the next step is what we need to see over the next 12 months,” Gibson said.
“If you are thinking in the white-ball sense, around the World Cup, we’ve got four years to plan for a World Cup, which gives you a lot more time.”