Fix domestic game for Proteas to find success, says Gibbs

November 21, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

Until South Africa is able to strengthen its domestic game, the national cricket team can’t be expected to perform at the highest level, according to former Proteas star Herschelle Gibbs.

Though the SA team remain a threat as one of the world’s top sides, they were dumped out in the group stages of the T20 World Cup in the UAE last year and again failed to reach the playoffs at the global showpiece in Australia earlier this month.

Next year they will get another chance to secure their first major global trophy at the 50-over World Cup in India, but less than one year out, Gibbs believes they are working off a poor foundation.

Top six averages

“From a coaching perspective, I look at the standard of our domestic cricket, which has dropped over the years,” Gibbs said on the sidelines of the Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational held at Sun City over the weekend.

“I think a lot of people are probably a little too hesitant to say that, but that has been the downfall.

“If we look at our top six (batters), in any of the formats, the averages haven’t gone forward at all. A lot of them who have struggled at international level come back into our domestic cricket, and within a week or two they get runs.

“That’s the first sign of where our standard of domestic cricket is, and it’s sad to see.”

Proteas Gibbs in action
Herschelle Gibbs played cricket all around the world. Picture: Anesh Debiky / Gallo Images

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During his memorable career, Gibbs played over 360 matches for South Africa across all three formats, and he remains one of only four SA players to make more than 8,000 ODI runs.

Since his retirement in 2013, the 48-year-old batting and fielding legend has offered his services as a hired gun on the lucrative T20 circuit, taking on coaching roles in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

Quality feeder programme

And with the current SA squad facing somewhat of a watershed period, with head coach Mark Boucher departing and white-ball captain Temba Bavuma facing controversy over his form, they are already dealing with significant challenges.

Without a quality feeder programme at domestic level, Gibbs feels the Proteas’ problems will only be compounded.

“Until we actually get strength versus strength with regards to our domestic cricket, nothing’s going to change with regards to how the guys perform at international level.”

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