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South Africa coach cites excessive cricket as the reason behind team's woeful run

Ram Kumar
580   //    29 Jun 2016, 21:28 IST
AB de Villiers
Russell Domingo was concerned about AB de Villiers’ heavy workload

Following a disastrous performance in the Caribbean tri-series, South Africa coach Russell Domingo has blamed the hectic scheduling as the major reason behind the team’s recent woes. Upon arriving in the country, he insisted that the players were unable to retain their hunger due to an excessive amount of cricket.

Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg, Domingo also threw light on Dale Steyn playing in the Natwest T20 Blast despite being rested from the West Indies trip. The 41-year old admitted the need to have a conversation with CSA about the future of South African cricket.

Domingo believed, “Think about our seriously long tour to India, long tour against England, then straight into the World T20. Then players stayed behind, played the IPL and flew straight to Caribbean. Some players arrived two days before our first game in Guyana and now some are staying another four weeks in the Caribbean.”

He added, “Some are playing county cricket, then home for two weeks, then a series against New Zealand, then go and play a mini IPL, then straight into a tour against Australia. Those are challenges that the coaching staff and the players are sitting with at the moment. When you are playing that amount of cricket for that period of time, it's difficult to maintain the standards consistently.”

South Africa looked like an uninspired side during the tri-series which also featured Australia and hosts West Indies. Faced with a must-win prospect against the Caribbean outfit, they went down by 100 runs and could not reach the final.

Also Read: Analysing the reason behind South Africa's recent poor run

Hoping that the calendar is worked out in such a way that the top players would be fresh throughout the season, Domingo affirmed, “The desire and the hunger levels when you are playing day in and day out will wane at some stage. There's no doubt about that. You can't give 100% to ten different teams for ten months. Something's got to give.”

Regarding Steyn’s absence from the touring party to West Indies, he maintained that it was a tactical move and the fast bowler would not have been fatigued from bowling 4 over spells.

The former Warriors mentor revealed, “He sort of knew that spinners would play a big role in West Indies. Having him sit around, not doing too much was not going to benefit him too much. Five games of four overs wouldn't have hurt him. I am glad he has gone and played some cricket.“

‘I am not a guy who wants to give up’

Dispelling the question marks surrounding his future, Domingo declared that he would have a discussion with Cricket South Africa on the way forward albeit acknowledging the burden of pressure.

He noted, “I've got to sit down with my management team and the board members and the CEO and the guys who make those decisions and plan the way forward. I've got 10 months left on my contract and the last six months haven't gone according to plan. I am not a guy who wants to give up or quit so I need to discuss what their thoughts are.”

However, Russell wanted the workloads of the senior cricketers to be monitored accordingly. Citing his conversation with skipper and star batsman AB de Villiers, he felt that the concerns cannot be brushed aside.

Domingo asserted, “"He's the captain, he'll be the first name down on the sheet to play Tests against New Zealand. I spoke to him two days ago planning the workload. It is a concern. Our players (such as) Hashim, AB, Faf, Quinton, Morne, JP, they play all the formats and then play a lot of outside leagues as well so that is a big problem for us.”

With a mini-IPL proposed for the early part of September, it seems that his worries will only become more aggravated.

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Ram Kumar
Someone who views sport as a metaphor for life.
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