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Kumble gives Kirsten backing

Indian captain Anil Kumble gives his nod to Gary Kirsten's appointment as the next Indian cricket coach.

cricket Updated: Nov 29, 2007 21:50 IST
Sanjay Rajan
Sanjay Rajan
Reuters
Gary Kirsten

India's test captain Anil Kumble supported Gary Kirsten's candidature as national coach to succeed Greg Chappell on Thursday.

South African Kirsten was interviewed for the job on Monday and a decision is expected later this week when senior board officials meet.

Board secretary Niranjan Shah told Reuters on Tuesday that Kirsten's appointment was "more or less finalised".

"His skills as a player, as a player in a team which was successful, can help the team," Kumble told reporters."

"At this point in time, having played against Gary, he was a very tough competitor and he was in a team which was successful in the late 90s, probably one of the top teams in world cricket."

Kirsten, 40, a left-handed opening batsman, played 101 tests and 185 one-day internationals for South Africa in an 11-year career that ended in 2004.

Kumble, who has played against the South African, was present when Kirsten met with the board's coach committee which includes three former captains Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Srinivas Venkataraghavan.

India have been without a coach since Australian Chappell resigned after their first-round exit at the World Cup in March and the team have had interim cricket managers since the tour of Bangladesh in May.

Another South African Graham Ford turned down the coach's job in June.