Gary Kirsten’s wife calls India her ‘second home’


Gary Kirsten not only guided India to the 2011 cricket World title Cup, but also seems to have inspired his wife Deborah Kirsten to write the untold story of her life.

Deborah, a freelance journalist and a motivational speaker by profession, describes her “unexpected story” in the book titled ‘Chai tea & Ginger beer’, which was launched in Mumbai a few days ago.

Gary Kirsten

The book is basically a story of Deborah’s role in a family in which her husband, a star cricketer, was always on the move, and how she looked after the family and brought up the kids in Kirsten’s absence.

Deborah, whose childhood was spent in a small village, might have taken the cue to write the book from her father, who had authored 15 books.

“With my roots and the passion for storytelling that I’ve always had, this was bound to happen. It was an experience that had a strong universal message about relationships, marriage and managing home, I felt. It’s been an incredible journey,” she said in Mumbai.

On the other hand, Deborah has explained the other aspect of living life in the shadow of a sports celebrity. “It teaches you to be confident in who you are and what your abilities are. More wonderful for me in becoming more independent,” she said.

Explaining her title of the book, ‘Chai’, or tea, expresses the time she spent in India and ‘Ginger Beer’ is about the time she had spent in South Africa. She called India her second home. “It won’t be far fetched to call the country (India) as my second home,” Deborah said.

Gray Kirsten, however, said he had no plan to write a book. “I have no immediate interest to write one. As a coach, most of the time in India and elsewhere, I’d been in hotels and stadia with the team. She’s the one to have had a greater view of the country than me. With someone who’s switched off from the sport writing it, the dimension is bound to be more interesting.”

In the book, Deborah describes the various roles of Kirsten, and describes him as a devoted husband and father. “He was never the one to bring on-field frustrations home. Keeping family in a good space was always among his priorities,” she says.

Kirsten appreciates her to go beyond juggling schedules and adjusting her life as per his itinerary. “It’s tougher to miss children growing up when you’re abroad and keep commuting so much. Remaining a father will remain a challenge. Things may change when the kids grow older,” he said.

Unravelling different highs and lows of their life, Deborah gives an honest insight into her life, the pressure and the reality of family life.

The main focus of the book is on India is a necessity, and it is not only because the couple spent a lot of time in India but also because of the warmth they were surrounded with.

“I wanted the bond to grow naturally, having fun, respecting each other, our cultures and building a healthy environment. Nevertheless, the way I cherish it says it all,” said Kirsten.

‘Chai Tea & Ginger Beer’, was earlier launched in SA.


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