Benkenstein’s appointment, together with other support staff that includes current Warriors Coach Malibongwe Maketa as Assistant Coach, and Justin Ontong as fielding coach.
Having had a successful playing career with Durham‚ Benkenstein cut his coaching teeth with Hampshire‚ whom he guided to two T20 Finals days and a promotion to the County Championship division one in his two-and-a-half years in charge before leaving the county in July last year due to family reasons. Benkenstein lives in the Midlands with his family. He also runs the DB Cricket Academy.
Benkenstein was an expert captain for both Durham and the Dolphins‚ but his career coincided with the late Hansie Cronje’s captaincy stint and his Proteas career was only limited to 23 ODI’s.
Standard Bank Proteas national coach Ottis Gibson, a former West Indian international all-rounder and England bowling coach had said last month that he would be seeking to have his own coaching staff‚ which meant the crew consisting of Adrian Birrell‚ Claude Henderson‚ Neil McKenzie and Charl Langeveldt was going to be rendered redundant from a national team perspective.
Gibson kept the group for the Bangladesh tour last month where the national team won all the matches.
With bowling being his area of expertise‚ Gibson had said he would be taking care of the bowling part of the coaching set-up‚ leaving the other vacancies to be filled by other individuals.
The 37-year-old Ontong is an interesting addition considering he’s still an active first-class player.
Ontong‚ who represented the Proteas in two tests‚ last played for the Cape Cobras in a Sunfoil Series match against the Dolphins late last month.
Claude Henderson remains in his position as spin bowling coach while Craig Govender succeeds Brandon Jackson as physiotherapist. Greg King remains in his position as fitness trainer as does Prasanna Agoram as technical analyst.
“Congratulations to Malibongwe, Dale and Justin on their appointments,” commented CSA Acting Chief Executive Thabang Moroe. “Their qualifications speak for themselves. Malibongwe has done a wonderful job as Powerade National Academy and SA ‘A’ Interim Head coach as well as getting the Warriors to two limited overs finals last season without having some of the headline players available to other franchises while Dale brings loads of experience from the time he has spent overseas.
“I would like to thank Hilton College for their willingness to share Dale’s expertise in a partnership that will be a win-win situation for everybody. Hilton have always been wonderful supporters of cricket, notably through the way they make their magnificent facilities available for the annual Sunfoil Township Tournament.
“Justin has deservedly earned the reputation of being an outstanding all-round fielder and the addition of a fielding coach to the Proteas support staff is something that is overdue.
“At the same time I would like to thank Adrian Birrell, Neil McKenzie, Charl Langeveldt and Brandon Jackson for the contributions they have made to the Proteas over a considerable period of time. CSA would like to keep their institutional knowledge and expertise in our High Performance structures.”