Gibson’s focus shifts to the ODI side

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New Proteas coach Ottis Gibson will now effectively begin preparations for the 2019 World Cup in England.

Gibson has overseen a Test series victory over Bangladesh but will know that his main task and the one which will define his tenure is winning the 2019 World Cup.

Nothing short of a trophy-lifting will satisfy South African cricket fans who have had their hearts broken repeatedly at the quadrennial showpiece.

Gibson will be looking to expose a wider group of players to ODI cricket before narrowing his focus over the coming year.

Speaking from Bloemfontein on Monday Gibson said: “We’ve got about 30 to 35 one-day games between now and 2019.

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“The idea between Faf (du Plessis, the captain) and myself and the selectors is to have a look at players, to give opportunities to players who might be on the fringes, so that in a year’s time we narrow that pool down.

“At the moment we need a wide pool of players to look at so we can start to see who we might need, also bearing in mind the conditions.

“We’ll be playing in England, so we’ll be looking at the type of players we might need for those conditions, to give them opportunities in the next year.

“The last year is to try to nail down 15 or 16 names we can pencil in. But it’s still a long way between now and then.”

Gibson was pleased with South Africa’s clinical 2-0 series win over Bangladesh in the longest format.

He added:  “At the start of the season everyone said ‘easy series’, but you still have to go and play cricket.

“We’re very happy with the cricket we played. I said to the players, if you believe the opposition isn’t that good, you must play to a standard and we’ve played to a very high standard.”

The three-match ODI series against Bangladesh will get underway in Kimberley on October 15.