Malibongwe Maketa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
- Proteas interim coach Malibongwe Maketa has put up his hand for the vacant men’s national team coaching position.
- Mark Boucher vacated the position at the end of South Africa’s tour to England in September.
- Maketa has already assisted at national team level and has coached the South Africa A team.
Interim coach Malibongwe Maketa said he’ll be putting his name up for the permanent Proteas head coach position.
For the Australian Test series, Maketa was roped in as a stand-in for Mark Boucher, who quit the post after the conclusion of the England tour in September last year.
The Proteas job will be split into a white-ball and red-ball component.
Maketa has been in the Cricket South Africa (CSA) coaching system through being Otis Gibson’s assistant before working with the South Africa A team.
Maketa, who was reported by Rapport as one of the candidates for the position alongside Lance Klusener, said it would be exciting for him to take up the challenge.
“Most definitely, I think it’s an exciting challenge with what we have. Looking at the players back home, everybody’s looking up for an opportunity to push for a spot,” Maketa said.
“From that point of view, I’ll definitely be putting my name up and hope to be part of this project.”
The option of being the Proteas’ Test coach will be a tricky one for CSA to navigate, especially with the Proteas only playing three more Tests for the rest of the year.
Dean Elgar’s side have two against the West Indies in March and one Test against India, but Maketa says his current employers are working hard to secure more matches for the national side.
“I know CSA is working hard to get more Test matches for us and it has been said enough that we have to play more Tests for us to grow,” Maketa said.
“For these players to grow, they have to play more and be exposed to Test cricket. I felt we had enough First-Class experience, but it was nowhere near enough to compete at this level and that bowling attack.
“You need to be tested a lot more to be able to compete at this level.”
Maketa admitted that the Proteas need more Tests and more exposure to ensure they get better at red-ball cricket.
Sunday’s drawn Test against Australia ‘ended’ a four-match losing streak that stretched from the Old Trafford loss against England.
The draw was also SA’s first in 47 Tests stretching back to 2017, with Maketa adding that they need more Tests to ensure they are able to catch up to the bigger teams.
“It is a catch-22, but teams have come to SA, and we’ve knocked them over,” Maketa said.
“From that point of view, we play very well at home, but it’s also about the exposure of getting out there and playing.
“We know the talent that we have and what’s coming through, but without exposing it, it’s going to be difficult to compete in the way that we’d like to.”