Cape Town – Incoming Proteas coach Ottis Gibson says he understands the need for transformation in South African cricket.
A former West Indian international and head coach, there had been concerns over how Gibson would react to the unique political climate in South African sport.
But, when asked about the issue of transformation at a press conference in London ahead of the third Test between England and West Indies at Lord’s, Gibson opened up on the issue.
He says that whether or not he agrees with transformation does not matter and that it’s importance was made clear to him in his discussions with Cricket South Africa (CSA).
“Transformation was mentioned, but it didn’t have to be in my opinion, because it’s a government policy,” Gibson said on Tuesday.
“Once it’s a government policy, there is nothing I can do about it. I have to work with it.
“I know that it is there and I understand why it is there. Whether I like it or not is irrelevant. It is there and we have to work with it.”
Gibson highlighted the issue of players leaving for overseas clubs as the major challenge facing South African cricket, but he said there was little he as a coach could do about it.
“You can’t help but hear the rumours about players who are considering Kolpaking,” he said.
“Every player will say he’s making a decision for his family. Many people don’t think that they are getting an opportunity and they move on.
“There’s not a lot that me as a coach can do about that … it’s something for Cricket South Africa to look into.
“My job is to work with the players that are there and try and make them ready to win matches for South Africa. If one player leaves, it’s an opportunity for someone else.”
Gibson is set to arrive in South Africa soon after the completion of the Lord’s Test. His first assignment will be a two-match Test series against Bangladesh that gets underway on September 28.