Charl Langeveldt’s skill and experience could be lost to South African cricket at the end of his tenure as the national team’s bowling coach.
Langeveldt told Business Day on Wednesday that he was in the running for an overseas position‚ despite attempts being made in this country to hang on to him.
The appointment in August of Ottis Gibson as the Proteas’ head coach meant the writing was on the dressing-room wall for Langeveldt.
Both are former fast bowlers‚ and the dressing-room was not big enough for the two of them — which Gibson confirmed to reporters in Johannesburg on Monday.
Langeveldt seems to have accepted his fate with good grace‚ saying on Wednesday: "That’s how international cricket is; you’ve got a job one day and the next day you’re fired.
"But I understand. You can’t have two bowling coaches and that is Ottis’s speciality."
Gibson also said on Monday that he was "in discussion with Cricket SA about a few key positions that I think can make a difference in this country in terms of having elite coaches".
He wants to be able to consult with specially appointed eyes and ears "so that when we are on tour and we have a couple of injuries and I want to know who is the next best fast bowler in the country‚ I have a person I can go to".
"At the moment‚ if I ask that question‚ I will be asking it to the selectors‚" Gibson said.
"The selectors are doing a great job but the selectors are not coaches. Sometimes you want a coach."
Langeveldt confirmed that "Ottis has asked me to stay in the system‚ but let’s see if they’ve got the funds".
How much money Cricket SA will have to pay on a new level of coaches after spending more than half their cash reserves on the aborted T20 Global League is a fair question.
Langeveldt is worth keeping‚ not least because SA’s bowlers have armed themselves with new tricks since his appointment after the 2015 World Cup.
"That was our biggest department in which we were lacking‚" Langeveldt said of the core competencies of his charges when he stepped into the dugout. "We worked hard on that and now you have a guy like Andile [Phehlukwayo] bowling back-of-the-hand slower balls.
"The skill levels and the death bowling [over] the last few years have been outstanding."
Langeveldt was careful to add that the credit for much of that effort and progress belonged to the bowlers themselves‚ but his role must be recognised.
He has been part of memorable successes such as SA’s one-day series win over England in February 2016‚ when they lost twice before reeling off a hat-trick of victories‚ the 5-0 thumping of Australia in September 2016 in another one-day international rubber‚ and a Test series triumph in Australia in November 2016.
But he was also there for SA’s dismal Champions Trophy in England in June‚ when they failed to reach the knockout rounds‚ and England’s 3-1 win in the Tests that followed.
"There’ve been ups and downs‚ but mostly ups‚" Langeveldt said.