Domingo's contract extended till August 2017

If Russell Domingo’s contract was not going to be renewed at the end of April, South Africa’s new coach would not have enjoyed any game time with the team ahead of the Champions Trophy © Gallo Images

From having his position as head coach under scrutiny seven months ago, Russell Domingo has now been given the safety of a contract extension until the end of South Africa’s England tour next August. Domingo, whose contract was due to expire at the end of April 2017, will be in charge for the next 13 Test matches and the Champions Trophy in June 2017. Team manager Mohammed Moosajee has been given the same extension. 

“As part of the domestic cricket review, we are currently evaluating the entire coaching framework in South Africa and the Board believed the best approach at present was to extend the tenure of Mr Domingo until the end of the England tour in 2017,” Haroon Lorgat, the CSA CEO said.

“Naturally the performances of the Proteas was a key factor in the Board’s unanimous decision. The recent 1-0 Sunfoil Test Series win against New Zealand and the impressive 5-0 win in the Momentum ODI Series against world champions Australia, resulting in us being the first nation to achieve a clean sweep against them, were noted. In addition, the excellent Proteas discipline and the positive culture throughout the coaching team, the player leadership group and the rest of the players were viewed as exemplary.” 

The domestic review is separate from the abandoned but soon-to-be resurrected national team review, which was due to take place after South Africa’s World T20 exit. Former national rugby captain Francois Pienaar was the highest-profile person on the four-man panel that was due to begin work in May. When they failed to agree terms with CSA, the committee disbanded and the review was abandoned. However, another process is now underway, which will review the performances of all national teams, which is unconnected from the domestic review that was concluded earlier in the year.

Among the domestic review’s recommendations was the formation of an eight-team T20 premier league to revamp the format in the country but, if that suggestion is implemented, it will only happen in the 2017-18 season. It was not known that Domingo’s position was also part of the domestic review panel’s scope; however, there was a pressing need for certainty over Domingo’s future because of the timing of the Champions Trophy. 

If Domingo’s contract was not going to be renewed at the end of April, South Africa’s new coach would not have enjoyed any game time with the team ahead of the ICC event in England. South Africa do not have any fixtures scheduled between the end of March, when they tour New Zealand, and the England tour in May. As a result, a decision on Domingo had to be made at the earliest opportunity and after South Africa failed to make the final of the Caribbean triangular tournament in June, it was being speculated his time was up.

However, Domingo enjoyed the support of Test and ODI captain AB de Villiers and was given the chance to redeem himself in the home series against New Zealand and Australia. A team culture camp preceded those series in which South Africa plotted what they call a new path.

Stand-in captain Faf du Plessis also revealed that the coaching staff had been a major part of the discussions over changing the direction and credited them with South Africa’s turnaround. Although they have only climbed to No. 5 on the Test rankings from slumping to No.7 at the end of last summer, they are up to No. 2 in ODIs and have managed that without de Villiers, who is out injured. Importantly, Domingo has embraced the transformation targets and South Africa have unearthed some depth, which has seen them get back on track and earned Domingo a contract extension.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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