The best news South African cricket has had since Faf du Plessis lost the toss in Visakhapatnam almost three weeks ago broke in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.
Robin Peterson‚ a son of that storied soil‚ has been named interim coach of the Warriors’ men’s team.
And as Eric Simons’ assistant with the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in the Mzansi Super League.
That should help take the edge off the awful truth cricket-minded South Africans woke up to on Tuesday: the innings defeat Du Plessis’ team suffered against India in the third men’s Test in Ranchi sealed the worst performance by South Africa since readmission.
It’s not that they lost the series 3-0‚ it’s that they went down by an innings in consecutive matches for the first time since 1936.
Former South Africa left-arm spinner Peterson‚ 40‚ is as Eastern Cape at it gets‚ having been born in Port Elizabeth‚ attended Alexander Road High‚ and played for Eastern Province and the Warriors.
What with many products of the game in this country taking their first ticket outta here — Peterson fills the vacancy left by Rivash Gobind‚ who is off the Afghanistan as Lance Klusener’s assistant — it will ease minds that Peterson has chosen to stay.
“It’s especially a privilege being a PE boy and having spent the best part of my career playing for the Warriors and now getting the opportunity to help develop and guide the team‚” a Warriors release quoted Peterson as saying.
“This is a huge thrill. They have the right mix of youth‚ experience and talent to do something special as a collective and push for silverware.”
That last happened in 2017-18‚ when the Eastern Capers shared the One-Day Cup with the Dolphins.
Peterson‚ who played 14 Tests and 77 one-day internationals‚ would seem ably equipped to add to the trophy cabinet.
He has been a technical consultant with South Africa’s under-19 men’s team in 2017‚ and has worked with the national academy and South Africa A.
Peterson has coached the Barbados Tridents and the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League for the past two years‚ as well as the Northern Warriors in the inaugural T10 League in the United Arab Emirates last year.
He has been an assistant coach with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
“All this experience within the field of coaching at the professional level makes Peterson a highly suitable selection to lead the Warriors during this new season‚” the release quoted Cricket Eastern Cape chief executive Mark Williams as saying.
Peterson will be back in a Warriors tracksuit on Monday for a four-day match against the Cobras at Newlands.
So far this season the Warriors have lost to the Knights and beaten the Lions.