Cricket South Africa have appointed Gary Kirsten as the new coach of the Proteas on a two-year deal at a press conference in Johannesburg.
On a day of no surprises, Kirsten was unveiled alongside his lieutenants Allan Donald and Russel Domingo by CSA chief executive Gerald Majola – as had been expected since the news broke on Saturday morning.
“I am delighted by my appointment and consider it a major honour to be offered the position,” said Kirsten.
“I had a lot to consider from a personal perspective and also needed a cooling off period from India. I had a tremendous time there but, as time moves on, I had to consider new things.
“I am humbled by my appointment and looking forward to working with the players and adding the value to the team which I think I can add.”
Expectation around South Africa will be high following Kirsten’s appointment, a fact highlighted by Majola introducing Kirsten as the “World Cup-winning coach”.
Nevertheless Kirsten was eager to impress that his responsibilities only extend so far.
“It’s all about the players. We’ll do our best to get them ready and I promise you we will give 100 per cent of our efforts,” he said.
Donald will take charge as South Africa’s bowling coach, while former Warriors coach Domingo will be Kirsten’s assistant.
There had been speculation that Kirsten wanted a position similar to the one Andy Flower has with England, but it appears that a compromise of sorts has been struck.
“As has been discussed my role is more team director or head coach where we’re putting together a coaching team,” he said.
“We’re looking to empower people and allow them to make some big decisions. There may come a time where I feel we can be more flexible in terms of our coaching and decision making.”
Donald had made it clear in the media recently that a job with South Africa was first prize in his mind despite having an offer from New Zealand, and he admitted that Kirsten’s request for him to join the coaching team was well received.
“When I got the call from Gary, it took me about half-a-second to say yes,” joked Donald.
“Some of my bags were already packed (for New Zealand) – it was very close.
“This is a very special day for me. I’ve dreamt about it and finally my dream has come to fruition. I’m very excited to be part of it.” Cricket365