Jaco Van Der Merwe
Head of Motoring
2 minute read
2 Feb 2017
11:55 am

Sacked for winning, rewarded for losing

Jaco Van Der Merwe

I just don’t get Cricket South Africa. Proteas coach Russell Domingo fails to win the World Cup in 2015 and he gets a contract extension.

The team goes from bad to worse and lose their No 1 Test status, fail to qualify the knockout round of the World Twenty20 and fail to reach the final of a triangular series in the Caribbean, and he gets another contract extension.

He goes on to miraculously oversee a complete turnaround which includes an historic one-day whitewash against Australia at home, follows that up with another historic Test series win Down Under and comes back to secure the expected clean sweep in a home Test series against Sri Lanka. And guess what he gets? The news that his bosses are implementing certain processes and that he will have to re-apply for his position later this year and that he has no guarantee of keeping his job.

Seriously? When the team is performing poorly Domingo’s job is safe and when they shine he gets shafted. Can you imagine after the worst year in Springbok history, coach Allister Coetzee gets to keep his job can turn around the national team’s fortunes and win the Rugby Championship this year, only to hear he’ll have to re-apply? It makes no sense.

I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been Domingo’s biggest fan in the past. In fact I’ve called for his head on more than one occasion in this column. But the quick turnaround since late last year has been nothing short of remarkable and Domingo deserves all the credit he can get for that. Definitely not a letter of contract termination.

After all the pain he inflicted on the Aussies alone? Hell, I would have given him a bonus.Now CSA insiders are already saying Domingo has nothing to worry about and that in all likelihood he might keep the job, but I’m cautious about buying that. All of this has a very familiar ring to it. Does the name Ray Jennings ring a bell? Jennings took the national Under-19 side to an historic maiden World Cup title in 2014, unearthing Kagiso Rabada.

But before the tournament’s 2016 edition, the cricket bosses called for change. Processes were implemented. Structures were changed. Jennings was welcome to re-apply … same old story. So the coach of the reigning champions was kicked to the curb to make way for Lawrence Mahatlane.

Lovely chap Lawrence, the two of us go way back and I’ve stated before that he has excellent coaching credentials, but things during his tenure soon became a public relations nightmare when the Under-19s rocked up in Bangladesh in defence of their title – especially after embarrassing defeats to Namibia and Zimbabwe. Bottom line was Jennings took them to the title and after the revolutionary change, the team finished 11th. Eina. I sincerely hope we do not go down this same path with the Proteas.

But you never know with the people who allegedly instructed the team to leave out their best bowler on the eve of the World Cup semifinal.