Gary Kirsten the new Proteas coach

7 June 2011

Gary Kirsten, the former star Proteas batsman who coached India to an ICC World Cup crown and the number one ranking in test cricket, has been appointed head coach of South Africa’s national cricket team.

“We are delighted to welcome Gary back as part of the CSA family,” Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola said in a statement on Monday. “We have been through an exhaustive but rewarding process to find the best possible candidate for the job, and we are totally confident that we have done just that.

“Gary’s credentials and cricketing experiences speak for themselves, and the board of CSA is confident that he will lead the Proteas to new heights in all formats of the game,” Majola said.

Kirsten said he felt greatly honoured to be selected for this important position.

“Having filled the same position with the Indian national team for the past three years, I believe this is a natural progression as far as my coaching career is concerned.”

“My coaching philosophy will not be any different than it was for the Indian team,” Kirsten added. “I always endeavour to influence players in a positive way and give them options so that they can grow both as cricketers and as people.”

Kirsten, 43, had a distinguished career as a player both for Western Province and the Proteas. He was the first South African to reach the milestones of 100 test caps, 7 000 Test runs and 20 test centuries and, although these marks have subsequently been passed by Jacques Kallis, he set the original benchmark for others to follow.

He was also the first South African since the country’s re-emergence after apartheid to score a century in both innings of a test match, and he stood in for an injured Hansie Cronje as captain of the Proteas against Pakistan in 1998.

Domingo, Donald to assist

Kirsten wasted no time in naming his coaching team: former Warriors coach Russell Domingo will be his assistant coach, and former South African great Allan Donald his bowling coach.

“Domingo has done outstanding work with the Chevrolet Warriors, particularly in the limited overs format,” Majola said. “He led the Warriors to both the limited overs crowns in the 2009-10 season, and has qualified the Warriors for the Champions’ League for two seasons in a row. This included reaching the final in last year’s edition.

“He has also achieved considerable success with the South Africa A side, and this is a natural progression in his coaching career to move up to the highest level.”

Domingo and Kirsten have worked together before, when Kirsten was a batting consultant to the Warriors’ franchise.

“Donald’s record speaks for itself,” Majola said. “He has been involved with both the England and New Zealand national sides as well as in county cricket with Warwickshire. Above all, his record in international cricket as a player makes him ideally equipped to work with what is still a young Proteas’ bowling attack.”

De Villiers, Amla lead Proteas’ ODI squad

Also on Monday, Cricket SA named AB de Villiers as captain of the Proteas’ ODI and T20 squads. His deputy in both formats will be Hashim Amla. Graeme Smith remains test captain, with De Villiers his deputy.

“De Villiers and Amla have been part of the new tier of leadership that has been built up in the Proteas’ squad for some time now under the guidance of Graeme Smith,” Majola said.

SAinfo reporter

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material