Kirsten has agreed in principle: BCCI

The BCCI is planning to offer a two-year contract to former South African opener Gary Kirsten, who has "agreed in principle" to be Team India's coach

updated: November 29, 2007 17:43 IST
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New Delhi:

The BCCI is planning to offer a two-year contract to former South African opener Gary Kirsten, who has "agreed in principle" to take over as the coach of the Indian cricket team.

BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah said today that the coach selection committee was satisfied with Kirsten's presentation and the BCCI will work out the details before making a formal announcement.

"The coach selection committee was satisfied with him. Kirsten has agreed in principle to take over as the coach of the Indian cricket team," Shah said.

Shah said the BCCI would initially offer a two-year contract to the former South African cricketer.

"We will offer him a two-year contract if he takes up the job. We will work out all the details", he said.

India has been without a coach for close to eight months ever since Greg Chappell's controversial resignation following the team's World Cup fiasco in the West Indies. The BCCI has relied on cricket managers in Ravi Shastri, Chandu Borde and Lalchand Rajput as a stop-gap arrangement.

Apart from the members of the coach selection panel, BCCI President Sharad Pawar and captain Anil Kumble were present during the interview with Kirsten last night.

Kirsten interviewed

The race for the Indian cricket coach continues to throw up surprises with former South African batsman Gary Kirsten on Tuesday emerging as a front-runner for the high-profile job.

The former South African opener was interviewed in the capital by the coach selection committee - comprising former captains Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and S Venkataraghavan, BCCI Joint Secretary MP Pandove, Treasurer N Srinivasan and secretary Niranjan Shah.

"Kirsten was interviewed by the committee on Monday in Delhi. The BCCI will make a formal announcement about the new coach in a week's time," Board vice-President Rajiv Shukla said on Tuesday.

"BCCI President Sharad Pawar had said that the coach will be decided in about 10 days and in keeping with his wish, the coach selection panel has expedited the process. The Indian Team will definitely have a coach before it embarks on the tour of Australia next month," he assured.

Kirsten is now almost certain to get the post, which has been lying vacant ever since Greg Chappell resigned following India's World Cup debacle in West Indies in March.

Kirsten's interview was kept a closely guarded secret unlike the media frenzy that had greeted former applicants Graham Ford and John Embuery earlier this year. Ford had backed out of taking over the job after being interviewed.

A highly-placed BCCI source said Kirsten's meeting with the coach selection panel was kept under wraps as the board did not want a repeat of the Ford-experience.

"Kirsten is almost certain to get the job but the cricket board wants to be careful with all the terms an conditions before making a formal announcement," the source said.

"The Graham Ford experience has made the BCCI a little more cautious this time and it does not want to make an announcement before all the nitty-gritty s are worked out," the source explained.

He said the BCCI was also interested in former Australian coach John Buchanan.

"The coach committee was also in touch with Buchanan but since Kirsten has already been called for the interview, it appears that he would ultimately get the post," he pointed out.

No coach so far for Team India

Kirsten, who turned 40 on November 23, was a mainstay of the South African line-up with an average of over 40 in both forms of the game.

He bid adieu to his international ODI career after South Africa's heart-breaking exit from the 2003 World Cup.

A year later, Kirsten decided to give up Test cricket as well. And The left-hander, if appointed, will come to India with little experience in coaching.

The Indians have been without a coach since Chappell's controversial exit and Ravi Shastri, Chandu Borde and Lalchand Rajput have been stop-gap arrangement as cricket managers.

While Shastri accompanied the team to the tour of Bangladesh, Borde took over for the 80-day tour of the UK.

Rajput was with the team for the Twenty20 World in South Africa and was later retained for the ODI series against Australia and the ongoing series against Pakistan.