Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
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Former South Africa international JP Duminy has been appointed head of the batting department for the Johannesburg-based Lions team for the 2021/22 season. This is Duminy's first coaching job.
The Lions, who have kept their name from the franchise system but now only represent the province of Gauteng in the new two-tier system - North-West were the other team that made up the franchise and will play as North-West in Division 1 - have also acquired the services of former Warriors coach Piet Botha as bowling coach and former national team analyst Prasanna Agoram to bulk up a backroom staff that also includes former North-West player Jimmy Kgamadi. Wandile Gwavu, who has been the Lions head coach for the last two seasons, will continue in that role.
While Gwavu and Kgamadi will work exclusively with the men's provincial side, Duminy, Botha and Agoram have been contracted to the province for the entire pipeline which will involve women's and age-group teams.
Duminy, who had a 15-year international career, retired from Test cricket in 2017 and from white-ball cricket after the 2019 World Cup. He has since been involved in commentary for a variety of international and league fixtures, most recently the ongoing PSL.
Agoram worked with the national men's team for 11 years until January this year when he was replaced by Rivash Gobind, who joined the team for the tour of Pakistan. While Cricket South Africa did not give explicit reasons for parting ways with Agoram, it is understood they were looking to give the analyst position to a local candidate. Agoram, who is from India, remains held in high regard in South Africa as the Lions have demonstrated.
"In our quest for excellence, we have secured Prasanna Agoram, undoubtedly the cricketing world's number one High-Performance Analyst. As the High-Performance Manager, Prasanna adds an unquantifiable value to the Lions Cricket system, overseeing talent acceleration from grassroots through to professional level," Lions CEO Jono-Leaf Wright said.
The 2021/22 season will see South African domestic cricket played under a new system to the one that was in place since the 2004/5 season. Instead of a six-team franchise competition and 14-team provincial set-up, the franchises have been discontinued, and 14 provinces have been divided into two tiers. Provinces in each tier will compete in four-day and one-day cricket while a T20 tournament in the form of the Mzansi Super League is also expected to take place.