Former Protea Botha gets Aussie coaching job

Henry

Johan Botha, the former spinner who led the Proteas in 21 white-ball cricket matches, has been appointed as the coach of the Queensland Bulls and the Brisbane Heat (in the Big Bash League).

He signed a three-year contract.

“Johan stood head and shoulders above the other top applications,” said Terry Svenson, chief executive of Queensland’s cricket governing body.

According to Svenson, the 42-year-old former player’s international cricket experience and knowledge of Australian cricket tipped the hiring scale in his favour.

Botha, who was known as a combative spinner in his playing days, played 78 ODIs and 40 T20 matches for South Africa. He took a total of 126 wickets internationally.

He moved to Australia later in his career and in 2016 he got his Australian citizenship where he was in action for the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers, among others.

In December 2020, more than a year after he officially put away his cricket boots, he played for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League for the very last time.

More recently he has gained coaching experience in Pakistan and the West Indies. According to Botha, he counts Aussies like Dean Jones and Tom Moody as his coaching mentors.

“Dean never played T20 cricket, but he had an excellent feel for this version of the game. He understood T20 cricket and he built excellent relationships with his players,” said Botha.

He is also excited about the other challenges that await him in Queensland.

“I have played many red-ball and one-day cricket matches, but I have never been a coach in these formats. It can definitely be a challenge, but I’m excited to get started.”