Why Kirsten declined BCCI’s second offer for India coach


While searching for a someone to replace former India coach Duncan Fletcher, the BCCI has approached his predecessor Gary Kirsten, but the ex-South African opening batsman is not keen to take up the position again.

Do you know why? It is because when Kirsten took up the responsibility in 2007, replacing Greg Chappell, he had made a promise to his wife that he would not remain away from home for more than three years.

Kirsten revealed this a few days ago around the launch of his wife Debrah’s book ‘Chai tea & Ginger beer’ in Mumbai.

“I had made a commitment to Deborah that the time in India won’t extend beyond three years, immaterial of how successful my stint was. Technology did help us then, but I doubt if I’m in a position to take up such a role now,” Kirsten said in Mumbai the other day.

Kirsten Deborah Pollock
Former India coach Gary Kirsten (second from right) and his wife Deborah flanked by former South Africa captains Graeme Smith and Shaun Pollock (left) in Mumbai recently.

Although he stayed back in India longer than three years after accepting the BCCI’s offer to guide the team till the 2011 World Cup, Kirsten is now keen to devote full time to his family in South Africa.

And, so far the BCCI’s search for the coach is concerned, it has still not been able find one. Ravi Shastri is heading the coaching staff as Team Director and he is being assisted by three assistant coaches, all Indians.

Kirsten, now, runs a cricket academy in Cape Town, providing private and professional coaching. He also provides coaching online.

Deborah’s book launch in Mumbai coincided with South African team’s 72-day tour of India. Former South Africa captains Graeme Smith and Graeme Pollock, among others, were present at Deborah’s book launch in Mumbai.

Kirsten, who played 101 Tests and 185 One-day Internationals for South Africa, had a successful stint with the Indian team as its coach. He was also popular among players and earned their respect with this conduct and attitude.

A left-handed opening batsman, Kirsten scored 7,289 runs, with 21 centuries, in Test matches and 6,798 runs, including 45 centuries, in One-day Internationals.