Kirsten strikes Proteas coaching job

2011-06-06 15:34

Gary Kirsten is the Proteas’ new coach, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced in Johannesburg today.

It was widely anticipated that Kirsten would fill the role as head coach. Various publications had been carrying the news since Saturday. He will be assisted by fast-bowling legend Allan Donald and former Warriors’ coach, Russell Domingo.

Kirsten, who was born in Cape Town and played 101 Tests for South Africa, accumulating 7289 runs, recently returned from a three-year stint as coach of the Indian cricket team.

During his tenure on the subcontinent, he not only helped India lift the 2011 World Cup trophy, but steered them to the number one spot in the Test rankings and moved them up to second position on the ODI log.

The 43-year-old, known for his calm and patience as an opening batsman, was a big hit in India. Players expressed their deep regret when he decided to return to South Africa to spend more time with his family.

Donald, known as “White Lightning” to his fans, had also been in demand overseas, recently coaching the New Zealand’s bowlers for the duration of World Cup. He was reportedly on the verge of renewing his contract with the Black Caps before CSA’s offer came his way.

Having played 72 Tests and 164 ODIs for South Africa, the 44-year-old from Bloemfontein was the first South African to achieve the milestone 300 Test wickets, ending his career with a tally of 330, and bagging 272 ODI scalps.

He retired from international cricket in 2003 after the Proteas, as hosts, were prematurely knocked out the World Cup, but he continued to enjoy lengthy spells as Warwickshire’s overseas professional and spent time as the England bowling coach in 2007.

Domingo emerged as an outstanding young coach, progressing through CSA’s own coaching structure.

He enjoyed success as the Warriors’ coach for four seasons and guided the Eastern Cape franchise side to both the MTN40 and Standard Bank Pro20 titles in 2009/2010.

He was named Domestic Coach of the Year in 2010 and more recently coached the SA A side in both home and away series against Bangladesh A.

The Proteas’ 2011/2012 season gets underway in October when they host the Australians, and later the Sri Lankans, for their summer tours.

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