South Africa news April 6, 2013

Maynard quits as Titans' coach

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Matthew Maynard will take charge of the Titans for the last time in the domestic Twenty20 final at the Wanderers on Sunday. He has decided not to renew his contract with the franchise and will return to the UK at the end of the season to take some time off and concentrate on running the Tom Maynard Trust, a foundation set up for his late son. The Titans are hopeful he will return to them in the future.

Maynard was involved with the franchise for two seasons but his tenure was underlined by tragedy. After his first summer, in which the Titans won the first-class competition and the T20 title, his son Tom died after running onto the tracks in a tube station. From that moment, it was uncertain whether Maynard would return.

He did, but it was with a heavy heart. The Titans, who lost their CEO Elise Lombard to a heart attack as well, slumped to last in defence of the first-class trophy, without registering a win in the competition. They fared better in the fifty-overs format, where they lost the playoff of the one-day cup. Their best performance has come in T20s, where they have qualified for a second, successive Champions League, and will contest the final against Lions. A source close to Maynard said he only felt he was coaching properly in the last three weeks.

Despite that, he has been credited with having a major impact on many of the players. Faf du Plessis said Maynard had helped him develop his temperament in the longer format, Farhaan Behardien and Henry Davids earned national call-ups, with the latter also succeeding in a leadership role.

Davids took over captaincy of the Titans in Maynard's second year and said the coach was "right up there with the best I have ever worked with." He thanked Maynard at the Titans' awards dinner on Friday night and added the coach would be "welcomed back any time." Davids hopes that after some time away from the game, Maynard will go back to SuperSport Park.

Vincent Sinovich, the chairman of the Titans, echoed that sentiment. "It is a big loss for the franchise. Matthew has provided great leadership to all the players within our structure. I truly appreciate the loyalty and dedication he has demonstrated throughout his time with the franchise. There has been uncertainty for a while if Matthew would continue, but we had always hoped that we could convince him to stay," he said.

Maynard gave no indication of whether he is considering a future in cricket. "I leave for personal reasons. I want to thank everyone involved for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful team and family," Maynard said. "I will always be part of the Northerns' family."

He told Davids he believes the batsman is "the right man" to lead the franchise and the rest of the team that they are a "very special squad". He handed out the award at the dinner, which included giving Roelof van der Merwe both the player of the year and the players' player of the year awards. Davids was awarded one-day cricketer of the year.

The Titans have not set a time-frame for naming Maynard's replacement but will now have to look for a third coach in four seasons.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SDHM on April 6, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Would be a tragic, if entirely understandable, loss to cricket coaching - he would definitely have been an excellent international coach, hopefully with England, but he'd be brilliant with anyone. Cricket's loss would be his charity's gain though, and the more he can do for the TMT the better. Good luck.

  • SurlyCynic on April 8, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Sad news, and totally understandable that he's going back to the UK. All the best to him and his family.

    With his experience of captaining South Africans he would make a good coach of 'England' so perhaps that's an option if he comes back to cricket.

  • Bowlersholding on April 8, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    What a great coach and man manager. Good bye Matthew, we will miss you. Hope to see you again in future.

  • djdrastic on April 7, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    A big tragic , as he seemed to really popular in with the Northens populace but very understandable.

  • SDHM on April 6, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Would be a tragic, if entirely understandable, loss to cricket coaching - he would definitely have been an excellent international coach, hopefully with England, but he'd be brilliant with anyone. Cricket's loss would be his charity's gain though, and the more he can do for the TMT the better. Good luck.

  • SurlyCynic on April 8, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Sad news, and totally understandable that he's going back to the UK. All the best to him and his family.

    With his experience of captaining South Africans he would make a good coach of 'England' so perhaps that's an option if he comes back to cricket.

  • Bowlersholding on April 8, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    What a great coach and man manager. Good bye Matthew, we will miss you. Hope to see you again in future.

  • djdrastic on April 7, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    A big tragic , as he seemed to really popular in with the Northens populace but very understandable.

  • djdrastic on April 7, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    A big tragic , as he seemed to really popular in with the Northens populace but very understandable.

  • Bowlersholding on April 8, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    What a great coach and man manager. Good bye Matthew, we will miss you. Hope to see you again in future.

  • SurlyCynic on April 8, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Sad news, and totally understandable that he's going back to the UK. All the best to him and his family.

    With his experience of captaining South Africans he would make a good coach of 'England' so perhaps that's an option if he comes back to cricket.

  • SDHM on April 6, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Would be a tragic, if entirely understandable, loss to cricket coaching - he would definitely have been an excellent international coach, hopefully with England, but he'd be brilliant with anyone. Cricket's loss would be his charity's gain though, and the more he can do for the TMT the better. Good luck.