SA to Lose Donald?

Alan DonaldAlan Donald, the former South African fast bowler, is set to take up a role with the England national team, as a bowling coach.

Reports suggest that Donald is set to join the new setup in English cricket under new coach Peter Moores. Moores has already acted swiftly in bringing in former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower as his number two, and an appointment of Donald will prove that the English set up are keen an appointing the best men for the job, irrespective of nationality. Flower and Donald have both had extensive experience in County cricket, as well as international cricket, and so would be well accustomed and knowledgeable of English cricket.

Suggestions coming out of South Africa are that Donald will join the team for the third test against the West Indies, and will stay with them on an initial 5 week deal, rather then permanently. Whatever the case it is surely a call to the South African cricket authorities to be more proactive in using the vast experience and knowledge that they have in their former playing greats, or risk losing them. Jonty Rhodes was employed by Pakistan for a similar 5 week period before being brought into the South African fold as their fielding coach. They improvement in standard was noticeable for all to see and surely they don’t want to risk the same impact that a former player of theirs would have on another national team? Rhodes was only contracted up to the end of the World Cup, and if he wants to carry on South Africa must take every set to ensuring it is with them.

Donald, who has ties in England from his county cricket days, is known to want to coach at the highest level, and would love to be involved in the South African set up, but must be growing tired of waiting. If he is to be offered a full time deal by the English, and is thus lost to South Africa, it will be through no fault of his or the English. They have recognised the need for someone like Donald in their setup, especially with the miss firing Harmison, and they must be applauded for making a positive move in rectifying the problem and ensuring that their bowlers have all the help that is needed. A South African attack that has been accused numerous times of not being able to finish off the tail would benefit from someone like Alan Donald. The reluctance of the Proteas setup to involve past players is an aspect that must be addressed. The past players are willing and able but can not sit around waiting forever. The high performance centre is making use of Gary Kirsten and has had Donald involved, but the deals should be set up to ensure that they are looked after so they will not be tempted by other teams. While Donald has enjoyed his time working with young players, he sees his role as working with international players, and not up and coming hopefuls, and they should have been rectified.

People such as Brian Macmillan, Fanie de Villiers, Craig Matthews, Darryl Cullinan and Pat Symcox have something to offer and if South Africa want to be the best then they need the best to help them. By allowing their assets to be used by others, by allowing others to benefit from their resources, while they themselves are in need of help and improvement, is not only foolish, but stubborn to. Donald should not be in a position to be looking for work with England, he should be working with the South African national team – his national team.

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