Gary Kirsten’s interest in the England Test coaching gig really gave me some food for thought - especially in light of Quinton de Kock’s retirement from Test cricket also.
Let’s get the personal opinion out of the way - I am not a fan of T20 cricket, and it was always my view that this geldmaak-storie was going to spoil the game for the cricket purist.
I think it’s pretty evident that that is currently happening globally.
Anyway, daai is maar my five-bob.
For those who don’t know, this is what he said when asked if he’d be interested in taking the England coaching gig: “I’ve walked this journey twice now (with England looking for coaches in 2015 and 2019) and I’ve always made it clear that I would never commit to doing all formats.
“And when international cricket boards get their head around the fact that they need to split coaching roles, then it becomes a consideration.”
He added: “Listen, the England ODI side is set up, you're the best ODI side in the world at the moment. It's a project that has been well thought out, you've got consistency in the players that have been picked.
“Your Test side has battled for a while but it would be a really lovely project to get that going.”
Regular readers of this column will know that I have great sympathy for players spending so much time away from their families. I’m a firm believer that quality time trumps geld innie bank and therefore I understand where De Kock is coming from.
Besides, he is better suited to the short form of the game anyway. So stick to what you’re good at and allow the team to freshen up and give other talents a run in formats that might suit other players better.
Selle with coaches.
Some of us have the temperament for five-day cricket, others know what it takes to be ruthless in shorter formats of the game.
That’s why I believe Kirsten has it spot-on.
As a player, it was evident that he knows what it takes in the five-day game.
He could play the shorter version, but wasn’t in the mould of a Lance Klusener - who also happens to be a head coach by the way.
So why not have three coaches in three formats with three different squads of players?
We have made some progress in this regard with players, but I think a radical shift in this regard with backroom staff and hele squads will go a long way in securing that the hunger stays in the game - off the field and on it.
Of course there is room for players who are good enough and avail themselves for all three squads to play in all formats, but that should be done in consultation with the three coaches.
So do you pay the salaries of three head coaches?
That’s the part I have not yet figured out, but surely there should be some performance-based incentives with a basic salary that makes it worthwhile.
Your director of cricket will then have to be the man for all seasons and making sure that the team culture remains the same throughout the three teams.
Rugby has done it, the Sevens programme is completely different to that of the XVs programme.
Two different games I hear you say.
Well, 50 overs instead of 20 or 90 a day sounds to me like a completely different ball-game too.
Chew on that a bit and let me know what you think.
Anyway, Happy New Year all!