South African Johan Botha has been roped in as assistant coach for the Adelaide Strikers and will return to Adelaide Oval with the Strikers for the 12th edition of the Big Bash League (BBL), nearly eight years after he stepped down as the team's captain, completing a full circle.
The former South African off-spinner will share his expertise and work with head coach Jason Gillespie with an emphasis on bowling, fielding, and strategy to improve the team's record at the BBL.
Few T20 players have more exposure and experience than the 40-year-old, who has played for rival BBL teams Sydney Sixers and Hobart Hurricanes after leaving South Africa and the Strikers whom he also captained.
The off-spinner who was more than handy with the bat last played a professional game for the Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL 2021.
Prior to that, he played frequently for the Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. He also had outings in the Pakistan Super League and Caribbean Premier League, where he later became the coach of the Guyana Amazon Warriors (2018), Multan Sultans (2019), and Islamabad United (2021), respectively.
He has experience working as a coaching assistant with the South Australian Scorpions women's team, at the Darren Lehmann Academy, and at the esteemed private school St Peters College, where he is currently Head of Cricket.
"I have so many fantastic memories from Adelaide Oval and can't wait to get to work with Jason Gillespie and the other Strikers support staff. The squad has great potential coming off a really strong season last summer and I'm looking forward to what we can achieve together in BBL 12," Botha said as per cricket Australia.
During 2005 and 2012, Botha represented South Africa in 118 limited-overs matches and five Test matches. He is known for being a ferocious competitor and a fitness enthusiast, and his post-cricket career goal was to become a professional ultra-distance trail runner.
He led the Proteas in ten one-day international matches, guiding a group that featured formidable players like AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs, Mark Boucher, and Hashim Amla.
Botha will assume some of the responsibilities left vacant by former Australian all-rounder Cameron White, who has joined the Sydney Sixers coaching team.
The Strikers, who have only won one title to date in BBL seven, added several key players to their squad for the upcoming campaign with the retention of Afghan spinner Rashid Khan and the addition of Chris Lynn, the tournament's all-time leading runscorer, and Colin de Grandhomme of New Zealand. (ANI)