Gary Kirsten agrees in principle to be India coach
The Indian cricket team will finally have a coach, as former South Africa opening batsman Gary Kirsten has agreed ‘in principle’ to take the job. Kirsten met officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Monday night and had another meeting Tuesday morning.
Barring unforeseen developments before the cricket board’s working committee meeting in Kolkata this Friday, Kirsten should be confirmed in his new job soon.
Board secretary Niranjan Shah told IANS Tuesday that ‘Kirsten is the frontrunner and it will take a couple of days to complete the formalities before finalising the name. Then the Board will have to ratify the name at its Kolkata meeting.’
Kirsten will be offered a two-year contract. If the contract period is two years, it will run out before the 2011 World Cup.
The coach selection committee of the Board, which met at president Sharad Pawar’s residence Monday night, zeroed in on Kirsten’s name. It is to be ratified at the working committee meeting once the South African signs the contract. Till then, the board does not want to announce Kirsten’s name officially.
Kirsten has been handed over the contract after he met the selection committee to present his case. The committee members include former India captains Srinivasan Venkataraghavan, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri.
The names of another South African cricket star, former skipper Kepler Wessels, and the high-profile Australian John Buchanan had also been considered, but the 40-year-old Kirsten eventually got the nod.
Kirsten played 101 Tests and 185 one-day internationals for South Africa in an 11-year career that ended in 2004.
Team India have been without a coach after former Australian great Greg Chappell resigned in the wake of the team’s early exit from the World Cup in March.
After Chappell’s exit, the team only had interim arrangements, with Ravi Shastri going as cricket manager to Bangladesh, Chandu Borde to England and Lal Chand Rajput accompanying the victorious Twenty20 squad to South Africa.
Rajput was then persisted with as manager during the one-day home series against Australia and for the ODIs and Test series against Pakistan.
Though Rajput is very keen on continuing as cricket manager, saying that India has done well under his charge, the board wants him to go back to take charge of the under-19 squad preparing for the world cup.