Kirsten set to take over as South African cricket team coach

Gary Kirsten led India to World Cup glory after 28 years Getty Images

Johannesburg: Jun 4, 2011

Former India coach Gary Kirsten is all set to take over the reigns of the South African cricket team with his ex-teammate Allan Donald assisting him, a media report said.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) would make a formal announcement on Monday, ending a two-month speculation as the officials interviewed several candidates from across the globe for the position, according to ”Saturday Star”.

Kirsten, who had a fantastic three seasons with Indian team guiding them to World Cup triumph and to the No 1 ranking in Test cricket, was tipped to take over from Corrie van Zyl, who has returned to his position as head of the CSA High Performance Centre.

CSA has declined to comment on the issue as they intend to make a formal announcement after the coach has signed the contract on dotted lines.

In recent weeks, there has been much speculation that Kirsten had suggested a “multi-coach” approach, with different coaches for the various forms of the game, with him taking up an overall position as Director of Cricket, but this did not find favour with the selection panel.

Kirsten”s closest rival for the position was Richard Pybus.

Donald, who has been sought after as a bowling coach since his retirement, was a popular partner for Kirsten in the early years of South Africa”s return to the international cricket arena following decades of isolation because of apartheid.

Donald has assisted England, and was part of New Zealand’s support staff during the World Cup.

He was expected to take up a similar position with the Black Caps before the South African post became available.

Former captain Kepler Wessels welcomed the news that Kirsten and Donald would coach the Proteas.

“Gary’s appointment will be good for South African cricket. He has done unbelievably well in India. He has a great work ethic and knows what is expected of a coach at international level,” Wessels said.

“Allan wanted to be involved with the Proteas for a considerable amount of time. He is very passionate about South African cricket and he will do a good job. He has coached quite a lot and is good technically and tactically,” Wessels added.