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Domingo uncertain about continuing as SA coach

South Africa's coach Russell Domingo 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.