The reason given for the poor showing by the Proteas during their tour to the Caribbean?
Players are playing too much cricket due to their many commitments in the various lucrative T20 tournaments. At least that is what was offered by Proteas coach Russell Domingo upon his arrival at OR Tambo International yesterday.
“The big challenge for me is making sure that international cricket is still the main priority for our players. When I say that, there’s a lot of cricket being played. There are lots of tournaments, a lot of money to be made, a lot of opportunities for players to get out there and market themselves,” said Domingo.
While Domingo might have a point especially when you consider that captain AB de Villiers only linked up with the national squad shortly before the first match of the triangular series it doesn’t sit well with some.
“Of course not. There are always going to be hundreds of excuses,” former Proteas spinner Pat Symcox when asked if the explanation offered by the national coach was a reasonable one.
“How can a coach tell you that players are playing too much? It’s the coaching staff who are letting them play too much and they should be fired, the lot of them,” Symcox, clearly fed up with the ongoing demise of South Africa’s cricketing fortunes, said.
Domingo has been under pressure for a while now, calls for his axing intensified after the Proteas were dumped out of the group stage at the World T20 earlier this year and Symcox feels that he may be overstaying his welcome.
“It’s a group thing. Cricket South Africa needs to do a complete clean-out. They must pull the trigger.”
Domingo still has 10 months left on his contract but with the Champions Trophy taking place in June next year and with One Day Internationals against Ireland, Australia and Sri Lanka dotted amongst Tests the time may be right for a new mentor to mould a team for the showpiece.
“This is not just a one-off loss. There’s been a deterioration. If this was a business and things weren’t going well you would looking at making changes to fix things. It can’t just be left to slide,” said Symcox.
“Get rid of the coach in the morning. Make all the support staff re-apply for their jobs and see how they stack up. And then put together a technical committee, a bunch of cricketers who have played the game, not a board and let them decide who is right for the job,” he added.
Domingo though, is not ready to fall on his sword just yet.
“I’ve got 10 months left on my contract and the last six months haven’t gone according to plan. I am not a guy who wants to give up or quit so I need to discuss what their (Cricket South Africa) thoughts are,” said Domingo.
“We’re still very motivated as a management team to do well. We feel we can take the team forward. That decision doesn’t always lie with us but that’s the way it is.”