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December 7, 2012
Russell Domingo, South Africa's assistant coach, has been promoted to the role of head coach for the national Twenty20 side. In a managerial split similar to England's, Gary Kirsten will retain overall accountability of all squads but Domingo will take some of the burden off him in the shortest format.
His rein begins in little over two weeks when South Africa host New Zealand for three T20s, starting on December 21. The three-match series also includes the Boxing Day T20, which replaced the traditional Test this year. South Africa will also play two T20s against Pakistan in March 2013.
"I believe this decision is a positive move to creating a more sustainable and balanced coaching approach," Kirsten said. "It's common best-practice around the world, and we feel it will give us the platform to spread our coaching resources efficiently."
Domingo was appointed at the same time as Kirsten and bowling coach Allan Donald in June last year. At the time, Kirsten had made his intention clear to delegate responsibility, especially because his wife was expecting their third child and he wanted to spend sufficient time with his young family.
Before any drastic changes could take place though, Kirsten's immediate priorities were to oversee South Africa's rise to No.1 in the Test rankings and aim for ICC T20 glory. He only managed one of those goals as South Africa claimed and retained the mace in England and Australia but faltered at the World T20 in Sri Lanka, where they did not make it out of the second round.
Now, there is a suggestion that South Africa will look to completely overhaul the T20 set-up, starting by putting Domingo in charge. "He fully understands the team culture and will be able to build that culture with the new crop of T20 players we will be blooding this season," Kirsten said of Domingo.
South Africa threw all the resources into capturing the ICC silverware, even recalling stalwart allrounder Jacques Kallis for the tournament in Sri Lanka. But having failed in that quest again, they are planning ahead for the 2014 edition of the tournament.
A significant number of promising players could expect to be injected into the T20 side this summer as a new-look squad is created. These may include allrounder Chris Morris, left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso and Titans captain and opening batsman Henry Davids.
Domingo, who managed the Warriors franchise before his national appointment, has intricate knowledge of players on the South African domestic circuit from that experience. Notably, he was also in charge when Warriors won their first trophies of the franchise system: T20 and one-day cups in the 2009-10 season.
Warriors qualified for the Champions League T20 in 2010 and under Domingo reached the final at home. While Kirsten already knew of Domingo's coaching calibre from back when Domingo employed Kirsten as a consultant, those results also influenced Domingo's ascendance to the international stage.
"Coaching at the highest level has always been a goal of mine and I'm looking forward to building on the foundation we have set for this format," Domingo said.
Kirsten will remain involved in selection and strategic planning of the T20 squad but Domingo will be involved in the day-to-day activities. This will also give Kirsten more time off to accommodate his family responsibilities. Kirsten remains in charge of the one-day squad though, with an eye on the 2015 World Cup.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
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