Zim Cricket targets Kirsten

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) are interested in hiring former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten to become the national team coach the Daily News can reveal.

ZC sacked Dav Whatmore back in May and appointed bowling coach Makhaya Ntini to the role of head coach on an interim basis.

Whatmore was sacked after Zimbabwe’s poor showing at the 2016 ICC World T20 trophy in India where they failed to progress to the Super 10 stage after losing to Associate nation Afghanistan.

Ntini’s first assignment at the helm was a home series against India in June.

ZC has been working in the background trying to tie down a substantive coach and those familiar with the process told the Daily News that the board is hoping to reach an agreement with Kirsten.    

The 48-year-old, who played 101 Test matches and 185 ODIS for the Proteas between 1993 and 2004, mainly as an opening batsman, is a highly-regarded coach after his stints with India and South Africa.

Kirsten was India’s coach when they won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup on home soil before stepping down to return to South Africa in order to be closer to his family after three years with the Asian giants.  

While in India, Kirsten also helped the side to ascend to the number one spot on the ICC Test rankings.

Inevitably, Kirsten was appointed Proteas coach shortly after his return from India for a short but successful two-year stint.

Just like that spell in the sub-continent, Kirsten also helped his home country climb to the top of the ICC Test rankings before stepping down so that he could devote his time to his family.

At the moment, Kirsten has a short-term contract with India’s Rajasthan Cricket Association.

ZC chairman of the powerful cricket committee Vumi Moyo confirmed the interest in Kirsten.

The union is currently planning to have a substantive head coach in time for the incoming home Test series against Sri Lanka next month.

“We are hopeful we will have one in place in time for Sri Lanka. We have to take every possible step to make sure we have the most qualified candidate as we are advertising for the post,” Moyo told the Daily News.

“There was some dialogue (with Kirsten) but not really an approach from either party. He hasn’t been completely ruled out.”

Should ZC fail to entice Kirsten to coach the side, the Daily News understands the next move would be to elevate batting coach Lance Klusener into the hot seat.

Klusener was appointed into the team’s technical setup back in May on a two-year contract to work with the batsmen.

Once a substantive coach is appointed, Ntini will revert back to his earlier brief of being assistant and bowling coach.

The new coach’s major task will be to lift the morale of a side that played little international cricket in the last few years.

Zimbabwe’s Test series against New Zealand earlier this month was the side’s first since November 2014 when they toured Bangladesh.

Local cricketers also play few first class matches because the domestic programme is severely hampered by ZC’s lack of resources.

A number of local cricketers in their prime have elected to migrate to the United kingdom where they play on the amateur scene.

Comments (5)

ZC board have a very big problem.We dont have a coach problem. Even a coach from mars will not win win anything with quality we have. Cricket is a specialised game, a coach is more ceremonial than anything else. The whole issue lies with the player in the field. Ours cant score 40 runs game after game despite playing over 50 plus games. We dont have large pool of players to choose from. Lest grow the game on the ground or else we take a short cut and give some asian boys citizenship maybe three batsman. This cricket game is different from other spots changing coaches is not an answer. Let these interim bowling and batting coach continue in the mean time while you ZC board spread the spot

X-MAN IV - 24 August 2016

Kkkkkkk Gary Kirsten kkkk. Indeed. While at it why not chat to Pep Guardiola and offer him to come and coach Chivhu Brothers???

Kupa Chidzonga - 25 August 2016

well said up there, No need for a coach but a need for quality players..if u take the very same Dav Whatmore to coach England or SA u are assured of winning matches because of the calibre of players that they hav......

PQ - 26 August 2016

with all due respect, i think its also hie time both the chairman of ZC delivers what he promised the ladies since history can remember. he, and the team manager Carol Nyamandi need to start delivering otherwise vaskana ava vachajamuka at a crucial point or worse kurambidzwa nevarume or vanamai vavo cz they basically have nothing to show for their toil. Cricket is a smart sport led by smart people, dont take advantage of our wives..please

mkadzi wangu - 27 August 2016

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AArush - 29 August 2016

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