It’s the World Cup, stupid.
Whatever you think of Ottis Gibson’s appointment as South Africa’s head coach he knows why he has been hired.
« That’s been a massive part of how [Cricket SA] pitched the job, » Gibson said at a press conference in London on Tuesday.
« Every team wants to win a global tournament. South Africa has never won one and that’s obviously one of their big things.
« You look at South Africa, you look at the players that they potentially [can] put on the field and there’s no reason why they can’t win the World Cup in 2019 here in England.
« That would be something great for me as a coach but more than that, great for the country. They have a very strong sporting culture in South Africa. So, to be able to do something like that would be amazing, » he added.
Gibson will have keen insights into South Africa’s trophylessness having played for Border, Gauteng and Griqualand West in the 1990s – and from guiding a West Indian team in deep decline to triumph at the 2012 World Twenty20.
« When I went back to the Caribbean we had the makings of a great team, » he said. « We had all the players – the Indian Premier League superstars – but we had never won a T20 World Cup.
« There are a lot of things that I learnt from that [T20 World Cup] situation and… I believe when CSA did their search for a coach they felt I could be a person that would come in there and take the team forward. »
Had he considered circumstances peculiar to South African cricket – using transformation to find the best players and absorbing the loss of those who choose Kolpak over country – before agreeing a deal?
« Every player would say he is making a decision for his family and when people say that they don’t think they can get an opportunity and move on, » he said. « That’s something for CSA to look into. »
Transformation? Not my problem, Gibson said. « Transformation was mentioned but it didn’t have to be in my opinion because it’s a government policy. »
As someone will no doubt tell Gibson, black man, you are on your own.