Reports: England eyeing Gary Kirsten as their next head coach

Reports: England eyeing Gary Kirsten as their next head coach

Ashley Giles, their director of cricket, is set to start the process of appointing a new head coach this week.

Gary Kirsten
Gary Kirsten. (Photo by IANS)

England recently finished their 2019 Ashes campaign versus Australia on a bitter-sweet note. The Brits won the final Test at the Kennington Oval, but couldn’t win the series. It also meant the visitors managed the retain the urn. The Three Lions have plenty of work to do prior to their series versus New Zealand, one of which is appointing a new head coach for the next season.

Trevor Bayliss, under whose tutelage England won the World Cup for the maiden time, has left the team after the five-match Test series versus Tim Paine’s Aussies. Ashley Giles, their director of cricket, will formally begin the process of appointing the coach this week. One of the names, which is known to be high on their list is Gary Kirsten, the former South African cricketer.

England targeting Gary Kirsten for all formats

The Englishmen have prioritized Test cricket and Kirsten seems to be the most qualified for the position. As per reports in The Telegraph, Kirsten had initially shown interest to coach the England one-day teams, but it has been learned that the management will be trying their best to get him for all the formats. Earlier, Giles said that he’ll appoint one head coach across all formats.

He believes that splitting roles doesn’t quite help. Giles was the coach of the one-day teams between 2012-14 at a time when Andy Flower was the coach of the Test team. However, clashes between the two put a full-stop to the tactic of having different coaches. England are also planning to appoint two assistant coaches, who can take over when Kirsten needs a break.

As far as experience is concerned, Kirsten has worked with the likes of MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar. In 2011, he coached India to the World Cup-title after 28 years. He also took South Africa to the number one Test rankings. Back then, the Proteas had the likes of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. Kirsten was one of South Africa’s finest cricketers with 34 tons to his name.

He has also coached the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. The franchise, led by Virat Kohli, recently decided to let go off his serves and appoint Simon Katich as the head coach. As far as coaching England is concerned, his initial reluctance may not be too much of an issue. The same is for the reason that even Bayliss turned down coaching them before taking the role.

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