Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Wednesday that Malibongwe Maketa has been appointed as the interim head coach for South Africa men’s team ahead of their upcoming three-match Test tour of Australia.
Maketa, who is currently the South Africa A coach and National Academy Lead, will take charge of the Test squad from December until early January as they prepare to face Australia in their penultimate series of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) cycle, after Mark Boucher announced he would be stepping down as head coach post the completion of the T20 World Cup in Australia.
The 42-year-old steps into the role after being part of South Africa’s Test tour of England where they lost the series 2-1. He worked as a consultant for the side during the four-day warm-up match against England Lions and the triumphant first Test at Lord’s in August. He also served as assistant head coach of the Proteas from 2017-2019.
“We are pleased to name Malibongwe as our interim coach to lead the Proteas in Australia. He is a familiar face to the environment and has worked in the same space previously when he served as assistant coach.
“Mali knows most of the players well; they know him too; and with such a short time between now and the tour, we as Cricket South Africa felt we needed someone who could step in immediately and lead us through what is an important series for the Proteas.
“We would like to wish him well on his appointment. He has our full support, and we have no doubt he will do South Africans proud in this series,” said Enoch Nkwe, Director of Cricket.
South Africa find themselves placed second on the WTC table behind Australia following two series wins, one loss and one draw in the second cycle of the two-year event.
“Malibongwe has earned respect and acclaim as a coach and a leader. This interim appointment is in recognition of his ability to ingratiate himself into any system and assure continuity. As no stranger to the Proteas setup, I am confident that he will acquit himself well and hit the ground running,” said Pholetsi Moseki, Chief Executive Officer, CSA.
South Africa’s Test tour of Australia will begin with the first Test at The Gabba from December 17-21, followed by second and third Tests at MCG, Melbourne and SCG, Sydney on December 26-30 and January 4-8 respectively.