Allan Donald (C) laughs during a rugby game as part of the practice session at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England June 6, 2007. Picture: REUTERS / NIGEL RODDIS
Allan Donald (C) laughs during a rugby game as part of the practice session at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England June 6, 2007. Picture: REUTERS / NIGEL RODDIS

The Knights have named former Proteas speedster and Free State legend Allan Donald as their new coach. He will take over from the incumbent, Alan Kruger, on May 1.

Kruger’s contract expires in 2020 and the franchise decided to look for a coach with international experience. That is what they have in Donald. After his 2003 retirement from international cricket‚ Donald served as coach in various capacities. One of those was as Proteas bowling coach when Gary Kirsten was head coach from 2011 to 2013.

It has been a tough two seasons for the Knights‚ who last won a trophy in the 2016/2017 season when they clinched the four-day franchise series title.

For Donald‚ it’s a homecoming of sorts that he has always looked forward to. “It all began as a little boy in Bloemfontein many moons ago. That’s where I went to school and learnt my game.

“I met a lot of influential people that showed me the right way, and coming back now in the capacity where I can help a team move forward is something very exciting‚” Donald said.

“I have wanted this coaching position for a long time and I look forward to this challenge. It is a big challenge. We have not had the best of seasons in the past years in terms of consistency and winning games‚ and most of all winning trophies.”

Knights CEO Johan van Heerden said Donald is an excellent acquisition for the franchise. “Donald is a legend in his own right. He has the passion‚ the pride‚ and he lives for the people in the central region. The players look up to him and we know he will have an influence on the team‚” Van Heerden said.