Klusener, Barnes, Ontong in SA support staff for India tour

South Africa

Former South Africa allrounder Lance Klusener has been appointed as the team’s assistant batting coach for the T20I leg of their India tour next month. Former South Africa assistant coach Vincent Barnes has been named the assistant bowling coach, while former batsman Justin Ontong has been given the assistant fielding coach role.

As part of South Africa’s new directive, the assistant coaches and all other technical staff will report directly to the newly-appointed interim team director Enoch Nkwe, who will be in charge during the India tour, which comprises three T20Is and three Tests.

Klusener represented South Africa in 49 Tests and 171 ODIs from 1996 to 2004. Often considered among the best allrounders of his generation, he collected 1906 runs and 80 wickets in Tests, as well as 3576 runs and 192 wickets in ODIs. He took up a coaching role with his domestic side Dolphins in 2012, before serving as the batting coach for the Zimbabwe team in 2016. Klusener was also appointed as the head coach of Glasgow Giants for the inaugural Euro T20 Slam, though the tournament was ultimately cancelled two weeks before the start.

“In terms of the new team structure, the team director appoints his three assistant coaches who have specific skills focus in the three key disciplines of batting, bowling and fielding,” Corrie van Zyl, CSA’s acting director, said.

“His [Klusener] record as one of the best all-rounders in the world, particularly in white-ball cricket, during his playing career speaks for itself and he also has extensive coaching experience both at franchise and international level.”

Barnes had been South Africa’s bowling and then assistant coach from 2003 until 2011, while Ontong represented South Africa in all three formats between 2001 and 2012.

“He [Barnes] also has extensive coaching experience at international level and his knowledge of playing conditions in India will make his contribution invaluable,” van Zyl said. “Vincent currently also fills the role of the HP Bowling Lead for CSA. Ontong meanwhile has built up a strong relationship with the players over the last two years and is an acknowledged expert in this department.

“Enoch is targeting a batting coach who has extensive knowledge of Indian conditions for the Test series and we will be in a position to announce this successful candidate shortly.”

Under CSA’s recent restructuring programme, the roles of head coach and team manager have been merged to create the team director’s post. CSA introduced the changes – including a decision against giving Ottis Gibson and the support staff contract extensions – as part of sweeping changes to the way the senior men’s team would be run after the 2019 World Cup.

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