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June 25, 2012
Highveld Lions have become the third South African franchise in six months to lose their coach. Dave Nosworthy resigned his post 11 months before the end of his contract, joining Graham Ford who left Dolphins for Sri Lanka, and Richard Pybus, who stepped down as the Cobras head coach and has since been appointed by Bangladesh. South African domestic cricket has now lost its three most experienced franchise coaches as a result of the exodus.
Nosworthy tendered his letter of resignation on June 4, but it was only accepted by the Lions board on Monday. Although Nosworthy called it "a sad time" and Cassim Docrat, the Lions chief executive thanked Nosworthy for his service and labelled him a "loyal, professional and dedicated individual," ESPNcricinfo understands that ideological disputes and a lack of results caused Nosworthy's departure from the franchise.
In a statement, Nosworthy said "a number of personal and principled factors were involved in my decision." Sources close to the franchise say differences with the current administrators of have underlined these factors. If that is the case, Nosworthy would not be the only coach to have disagreements with management.
Pybus left Cobras under a cloud and claimed he was "undermined" by the chief executive Andre Odendaal, who responded by calling him "prickly." Pybus was the most successful franchise coach in the country having won trophies in all three formats with both Titans and Cobras. When he quit his job in Cape Town, Pybus did not have any employment but through luck of timing the Bangladesh post opened up.
Ford left Dolphins for a national post, having been courted by Sri Lanka previously and turning them down. But, he was also reportedly also unhappy with management at the franchise, who went on a drive to inject youth into their set-up by terminating the contracts of five senior players in 2010 and have struggled for success since.
Results also did not come for the Lions under Nosworthy. They did not win a single trophy, although they reached two Twenty20 finals and qualified for the Champions League T20 twice, including this year. They produced two nationally contracted players in Alviro Peterson and Thami Tsolekile (although neither are from the franchise originally) and have had numerous players called up to South Africa's A side such as Chris Morris, Temba Bavuma and Pumi Matshikwe, while wicketkeeper batsman Quinton de Kock has captained the national Under-19 side.
Nosworthy believes he is leaving the franchise "on the brink of bigger and better things." Although he would not comment on his future, Nosworthy is understood to have applied for the New Zealand coaching job, which will become vacant when John Wright steps down after the West Indies tour. Nosworthy has experience in the country, having previously coached Canterbury.
Lions have confirmed that they will not open applications for the coaching job at their franchise and will appoint someone from within. Assistant coach Geoffrey Toyana is the frontrunner for the job. Toyana played 84 first-class matches and has coached at national U-19 level. If he is appointed, he will be the first black African head coach in the franchise era.
Neither Cobras or Dolphins have announced new coaches, although that will change this week. Cobras will unveil their new coach on Tuesday and it is widely expected that former national spinner Paul Adams will be appointed. Adams has had coaching roles with the Western Province amateur side, South African A side and the now defunct seventh franchise, Impi.
The Dolphins board will meet on Tuesday to discuss the candidates for their franchise. Although they have not revealed names it is understood that former West Indian fast bowler Eldine Baptiste, who coached the Dolphins before, former South African allrounder Lance Klusener and former Cobras and Lions coach Shukri Conrad are in contention.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
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