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Gary Kirsten delays taking over as India coach

The former SA batsman says he wants assurances from the players over the job before committing himself.

cricket Updated: Dec 04, 2007 12:43 IST

Former South Africa opening batsman Gary Kirsten has delayed taking over as India coach, saying he wants assurances from the players over the job.

"I have heard rumours about some senior players expressing their concern about my possible appointment and I would prefer to have clarity on that before I commit myself," Kirsten told Reuters.

Kirsten had been expected to sign his contract on Monday.

"I'm not sure whether the players have concerns or not," said the South African. "I only met (captain) Anil Kumble on my recent trip to Delhi and he was very supportive.

"If there are concerns then I would like to find out whether they are about me as an individual or the process by which I was interviewed and then offered the job."

Indian newspapers had quoted anonymous senior players as saying the existing management structure was working well and Kirsten's appointment was unnecessary.

"There is absolutely no need for a coach at this moment," an unnamed player was quoted as saying in the Mumbai Mirror.

Kirsten said he was keen to speak to more players to make sure he understood their feelings.

"I'm not going to rush because it's a very important position in world cricket and the decision needs to be made carefully and in conjunction with all the right people but mostly the players," he said.

"You can't coach any team if you don't have the players 'buy in'. I've written to the board to explain my feelings."

Australian Greg Chappell quit as India coach in April following the team's shock first-round elimination from the World Cup.