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England debate offering head coach role to former South African batsman Gary Kirsten  

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09/10/2019 2:26 下午  

England debate offering head coach role to former South African batsman Gary Kirsten

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England are considering approaching Gary Kirsten to become the next head coach across all three formats as the search to replace Trevor Bayliss intensifies.

Ashley Giles, the England director of cricket, will this week formally begin the process of hiring a new head coach for the England team and Kirsten’s name is high on the list.

Kirsten is the most highly qualified candidate for the job particularly as England have put Test cricket back at the forefront of their priorities.

Kirsten had initially shown interest only in coaching England’s one-day teams but it is understood efforts will be made to find out if he can be tempted to take the full time head coach’s role.

Giles reiterated last week he will appoint one head coach across all formats believing splitting the role between one-day and Test cricket does not work. Giles had his fingers burnt as England’s one-day coach between 2012-2014 when clashes with Andy Flower, then in charge of the Test team, made the split role unworkable.

But England will try to tempt Kirsten by offering him time off and appointing two assistant coaches who can take charge of Test or one-day series when he needs a break. It would also give valuable experience for a young English coach to lead the team in the absence of the head coach and put them in prime position when the job is available in the future.

Kirsten is clearly the most qualified candidate to replace Bayliss. He was head coach of India for four years and South Africa for three. He guided India to the 2011 World Cup working with some of the biggest names in cricket such as MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid who all respected his coaching abilities.

He took South Africa to No 1 in the Test rankings coaching Graeme Smith, AB De Villiers and Jacques Kallis; all among the finest Test cricketers of their generation. He has coached in the IPL and across franchise tournaments all over the world since stepping down from full time international roles in 2013.

England tour India next winter for five Tests and his knowledge of the conditions would be invaluable to captain Joe Root. Giles has put winning in Australia in 2021-22 top of his list of priorities and Kirsten led South Africa to victory in Australia seven years ago.

As an opening batsman he played 101 Tests for South Africa giving him vast experience of the longest form of the game and what is needed to score runs all over the world making him an ideal mentor for young batsmen such as Dom Sibley and Ollie Pope.


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