New Proteas coach Ottis Gibson is no stranger to South Africa, in particular East London and Border cricket, having featured on the domestic cricket front around the country for eight years during his playing days.
Gibson first appeared in South Africa when he turned out for Border between 1992 and 1995, before also going on to play for Griqualand West from 1998-2000 and then just a single season for Gauteng in 2000/2001.
Gibson was a fan favourite during his time in East London and was known as a fearsome opening bowler. He was also famous for hitting some of the biggest sixes that Buffalo Park has ever seen.
“Gibson was known as an explosive opening bowler. However, he managed to hit a six that is still talked about by many fans in East London,” said Border Cricket CEO Thando Booi, who congratulated Gibson, popularly known as OT, on becoming the new national coach.
“He hit the ball over the pavilion, over the road and into the graveyard, which is about 150 yards and he subsequently hit two other sixes in the same over.
“While he represented Border in the early 90s, he always had a positive attitude and a positive influence over the players and Border Cricket.
“Border Cricket wishes him everything of the best in his new role and we look forward to having him back home at Buffalo Park when the SA team take on Bangladesh.”
Gibson, who arrives in South Africa after vacating his role as England bowling coach, did not feature at international level for the West Indies very often, playing just two Tests, the last against the Proteas in 1999, and 15 ODI’s.
However despite niggling injuries throughout his career he managed to make a mark on the domestic front, which included the best bowling in an innings of 10/47, becoming the 79th bowler in history at the time to accomplish that feat, while he also struck a highest score of 155 both on the first class front.
Since retiring from playing Gibson has been England’s bowling coach on two occasions and became head coach of his native West Indies from 2010 to 2014.
“He is a good coach, he has done extremely well and I think the Proteas have made a great choice,” said Border coaching manager Raymond Booi, who also recalled his time spent with Gibson.
“He was an outstanding person, a calm and collected guy and he was someone that many players looked up to.
“One of the highlights for me was we had a mentorship programme many years ago along with Mercedes Benz and players at Border had to mentor players.
“At that time I could already see that Ottis loved coaching and one of the players he mentored, amongst others, was a young Monde Zondeki and I think he did extremely well with him and others.’’