Gary Kirsten bid farewell after presiding over the most successful three years in Indian cricket, donning a cloak of invisibility that kept him away from the limelight until the players carried him for a lap of honour after winning their biggest prize — the World Cup.
On Tuesday, the former South Africa opener stepped into the limelight one last time, to formally say goodbye to a grateful nation still savouring the regaining of the World Cup after 28 years.
Kirsten said he believed the coach’s position was strictly behind the scenes, something that was vital to revive a group that had sunk to its lowest after its World Cup first round exit in 2007.
Even in his farewell media interaction, the 43-year-old preferred to speak about the team’s positives rather than how he transformed individual talent into a world-beating unit.
Kirsten had the same advice for his successor: “The new coach needs to bring in new ideas. But do it in a way that the Indian players will respond to it.
“I will definitely like to provide my inputs about the team to the next man taking over. But I certainly don’t want him to emulate what we did,” said Kirsten.
“I know it’s going to be tough for the new coach in terms of the standards that have been set. But I don’t see why the team should not continue doing well,” he said. “The foundation has been set.”