South Africa news June 13, 2017

Domingo uncertain about continuing as SA coach

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Russell Domingo defended South Africa after their early exit from the Champions Trophy, saying that two bad games did not make his side a bad one © Getty Images

Russell Domingo still has no clarity on whether he will continue in his role as South Africa's head coach after the current tour to England. After South Africa crashed out of the Champions Trophy in the first round, Domingo told the media he had "not yet" reapplied for his post and "can't say" whether he has plans to take the team to the 2019 World Cup.

CSA has also given no indication of whether the process to appoint a new coach has moved forward since it appointed a five-person panel in May to recommend the next coach, who will be in charge for the next two years.

While Domingo confirmed he had not yet given any thought to what he might do if he did not continue as national coach, he was willing to reflect on the four major tournaments - the 2014 and 2016 World T20, 2015 World Cup and 2017 Champions Trophy - he has overseen.

"We've come so close on so many occasions, and it's just disappointing that we didn't give ourselves the best chance here," Domingo said. "The players are bitterly disappointed. I can tell you it's not through lack of trying or lack of effort or commitment. Someone told me that India didn't field at all for the last couple of days (before our match), we try and field as much as we can. So it's not through lack of effort. I'm just bitterly disappointed for the players. They've played some great cricket this year and sometimes life can be unfair. But you've got to make your own luck as well."

Like his captain, AB de Villiers, Domingo admitted not being able to pinpoint exactly what had gone wrong for South Africa or what needs to be done to change their fortunes. "You just need to play well on the day, that's the bottom line. There's no magic wand or injection that you're going to give guys," he said. "Guys just need to make the best decision on the day and do what they've done prior to those particular games. We haven't done that. We've played great cricket over the last year and Sunday was probably our worst game. We didn't do the basics well enough and that's what you need to do in these games."

While Domingo did not directly accept responsibility for the team's inability to do those things, he indicated that management had done all they can and then some, to no avail. "We've had two bad games here, it doesn't make the side a bad side," he said. "There are always going to be questions asked until the side wins an event, wins these knock-out games, wins these big games, and rightly so. But there's no magic wand. A lot of things have been tried, a lot of things have been discussed. A lot of people have been involved and unfortunately the results at the moment are still the same."

South Africa did not employ any specific special methods for this event - no extreme sports adventures a la 2012 when they went mountaineering with Mike Horn, no foreign consultants like Mike Hussey, who was with them at the 2015 World Cup - but entered this tournament on the back of form and on an upward curve. Still, they remain at a loss to explain how things went so wrong and the only consolation they can offer fans is that they will keep at it.

"You keep trying, that's the bottom line. You can't give up," Domingo said. "The side's got to go away and reassess, think about it, and start moving forward again."

In the post-mortem, Domingo cautioned against any impulsive reactions and urged the administrators to wait for the dust to settle before deciding if heads, perhaps even his own, will roll. "Players need to go away and think about it for a couple of days. Never good to make decisions when emotions are high, so once things have calmed down I suppose people need to sit down and think of a way forward once again. Take it from there. Now is not the time," Domingo said.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lloydster on June 15, 2017, 12:15 GMT

    Domingo now is the time for you to step down - in fact way overdue. He has been riding his luck for too long. The side has not grown and matured which is why there are no explanations as to "what went wrong". It wasn't right in the first place, hence the Proteas are knocked out again. Go figure Domingo !

  • cricfan21761974 on June 14, 2017, 19:41 GMT

    Bring in Greame Smith or Shane Warne both these guys are fit for the job. SA will always have something against Greame Smith despite him being a great leader...Its time for positivity and not consolidation. Its seems as though consolidation has been the theme of Domingos tenure as coach. He talks as if SA have been brilliant outside all icc events during his time but that's not true. Whitewashes against weak teams don't count and winning other series 3-2 is not exactly dominance.SA need to make changes because the rot has already set in. A new start will do good for SA cricket. Team culture is not the issue its individual performances that matter be it fielding, batting or bowling, especially in big games. CSA should also stop carrying passengers...they know who they are. Please publish ESPN.

  • ProteaCricketLover on June 14, 2017, 12:15 GMT

    We have gone into several ICC tournaments with lots of preparation. The coaching staff had high achievers from other disciplines to motivate our guys. None have worked. So, I feel that we need to look outside our system to have someone coach our players to deal with the main problem that we have, confidence while playing under crunch situations so that they can get a measure of things and not create pressure on themselves (which has been happening irrespective of whether the opponents apply it or not!!). I would like an Aussie for a change - someone like a Ponting or Warne. I don't like seeking their help but some drastic measures are needed. 2019 would mark another generation of talented players ending up empty handed if they fail there and that's a big shame considering that this bunch is among the ones with most caliber.

  • ProteaFire12 on June 14, 2017, 10:51 GMT

    no he needs to go, his coaching hasn't shown good enough results unfortunately. we need a more positive coach that gives players freedom

  • KerneelsMerkII on June 14, 2017, 6:49 GMT

    Just appoint Gary and get it over with. I like Russell...but new brooms and all that.

  • Naresh28 on June 14, 2017, 6:33 GMT

    What about SA roping in Jaque Kallis or Graeme Smith? Both at the right age to be with team SA and can help rebuild the team. The biggest problem with SA cricket is the loss skilled players to Australia, Uk, New Zealand. The same happened awhile ago with Zim cricket.

  • cricfan6077223388 on June 14, 2017, 6:21 GMT

    2 days to go for Domingo to reaply....counting down

  • cricfan9573776086 on June 14, 2017, 5:07 GMT

    Especially if you have talents and you cannot convert, it just means lack of application in crucial games and moments. The coaching staff is one big factor. Donno whom to blame, luck can be against you sometimes but not every single time. Professionalism helps, time for major overhaul. When the same Gary Kirsten could do wonders for India why not for south Africa. Maybe a foriegn coach without internal baggage can help.

  • cricfan91514555 on June 14, 2017, 3:59 GMT

    Lack of focus at crucial moments is the root cause of their failure. You can't blame luck for all your failures. There is something wrong somewhere. Against India everyone played simply bad cricket. And this can be seen on almost all occasions. When crucial moment comes either they become complacent or simply loose concentration. South Africa needs new set of players. Amla AB and company are not good for big moments.

  • Brokensaint on June 13, 2017, 20:28 GMT

    not sure how miller got pulled into this conversation but Miller is one of the few performer's

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