There was outrage last weekend after Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced Russell Domingo would need to re-apply for his job as Proteas coach.
Given his success over the past five months, many felt it was a smack in the face.
According to ESPNCricinfo though, that is hardly the case.
Also read: Bye bye Russell Domingo?
Instead, CSA are following due process in order to protect themselves administratively from any legal action should Domingo in future argue he was wrongly sacked.
The Proteas head coach’s contract – which expires in August – has already been extended three times in the past four years.
As a result, according to insiders quoted by the website, CSA can’t risk doing so a fourth time because that could create the impression Domingo’s contract lasting indefinitely.
“It’s important that CSA does not create the expectation that the contract will just roll over,” said one official.
“They’re trying to avoid that reasonable expectation by making sure that if they choose to appoint Domingo again, it will be through a procedure that involves other applicants.”
Domingo’s contract history with CSA
May 2013: Initial two-year contract till April 2015
September 2014: Deal extended till April 2016
June 2015: Another extension till April 2017
October 2016: Deal topped up to include England tour, expiry August 2017
Should Domingo apply again and be given the job, at least CSA could argue – should termination prove a problem – they selected the best candidate and that he simply didn’t perform as expected.
Another official also defended CSA’s timing of the announcement.
“With contracts like this, a decision also has to be made depending on certain tours or when the most logical time to put out a call for applications might be,” he said.
“The timing can get a bit awkward because you can’t have uncertainty over the coaching position before a major tournament or series but at the same time, the contract has an expiration date.”