Kirsten favourite to coach SA
Cricket South Africa is expected to announce the name of the new coach on Monday after the CSA board has considered a recommendation from a committee set up to search for a suitable candidate.cricket Updated: Jun 06, 2011 10:06 IST
Just over two months after guiding India to the World Cup, Gary Kirsten could become coach of his native South Africa.
Cricket South Africa is expected to announce the name of the new coach on Monday after the CSA board has considered a recommendation from a committee set up to search for a suitable candidate.
Before the official announcement, Test captain Graeme Smith has scheduled a media conference for Sunday, prompting a leading Afrikaans language newspaper to speculate that Smith is going to resign as Test captain.
Smith, who was appointed captain in 2003, has already given up the South African one-day and Twenty20 captaincy.
According to the Beeld newspaper, Kirsten would take over with a clean slate, with AB de Villiers likely to be appointed captain in all three forms of the game.
Kirsten and former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus are the two leading candidates for the coaching position, with Kirsten's record as a respected former Test player and his success with India giving him a strong edge.
The main consideration for Kirsten is whether he will be able to juggle family life with the demands of being a full-time coach of a national team.
He is the father of two young sons and said in a recent interview with the South Africa-based SuperSport television channel that he did not want to be an absentee father.
He said family concerns were the main reason he had not renewed his contract with India. But he also said, "I would love to coach the South African team - it's my people. It will be a natural progression.
"I'd consider it a massive honour."
Kirsten, 43, played in 101 Tests for South Africa between 1993/94 and 2003/04. His last 12 Test matches were played under the captaincy of Smith, with whom he enjoyed a good relationship.
Kirsten had no formal coaching experience beyond running a cricket academy in Cape Town before his surprise appointment as coach of India in 2008. But under his guidance India rose to become the number one Test team in the world, as well as World Cup champions.
Pybus, 46, has had a more conventional coaching career. A former Minor Counties player in England, he settled in South Africa and coached the Border provincial team before being appointed for the first of two stints as coach of Pakistan in 1999.
He has been a successful coach with the Titans and Cape Cobras franchises in South Africa and had a brief spell as coach of Middlesex in England in 2007.