Lance Klusener, the former South Africa allrounder, has been appointed interim coach of the Dolphins, the Durban-based franchise, until the end of the 2011-12 season. Klusener replaces Graham Ford, who resigned with immediate effect last week and has been confirmed as Sri Lanka's new coach.
Klusener, best remembered for his Man-of-the-Series performance in the 1999 World Cup, retired from international cricket in 2004 and has since had a range of cricket-related work. He has a Level 3 coaching qualification and has been involved with age-group sides at the Dolphins for the last three years. He has also worked with the South African High Performance Program and assisted the South Africa A side.
"Being a former Dolphin, I am very proud of my team and want to be part of the process of rebuilding the team to its rightful place as South Africa's No. 1 franchise," Klusener said.
The Dolphins have not won a trophy since they shared the SuperSport Series in the 2004-05 season, and are targetting the upcoming domestic Twenty20 competition as an opportunity for silverware. They have contracted Chris Gayle for the series and had also lined up Australia quick Shaun Tait, but he pulled out with an elbow injury.
"We are still focused on the T20 competition," Faeez Jaffer, the Dolphins president, said. "With Lance's vast experience at our disposal, we believe that our players will be challenged and want to perform. Lance also has first-hand knowledge of the dynamics and makeup of our team."
Jesse Chellan, the Dolphins chief-executive, told ESPNcricinfo that the franchise is still looking for another big-name player.
The mid-season change of coach has not affected the Dolphins team, Chellan said. The senior players filled the gap and have been organising and running team practices. "Team leadership stepped in and everything has been running well," Chellan said.
The Dolphins will soon undertake a formal process to recruit a new head coach for the start of next season.