'I thought interview went well': South African Gary Kirsten is still keen on England job despite losing out to Chris Silverwood
Gary Kirsten felt his interview for the England head coach position had gone as well as he could have hoped before ECB director of cricket Ashley Giles told him that Chris Silverwood had landed the job.
Although Kirsten was favourite for the position, he bears no grudge and said on Tuesday, while watching his 12-year-old son in a schools match in Cape Town, that he did not rule out being involved with England in the future. He is still ‘really, really looking forward to coaching the Welsh Fire team in The Hundred next year’.
The former South Africa opening batsman was informed that the issue of ‘family’ was one of the interview panel’s main concerns. Having young children and juggling an international coaching job would be an issue for any coach, but it is something to which the Kirsten clan are accustomed.
Although Gary Kirsten was favourite for the England job, he bears no grudge to the ECB
Every coaching position Kirsten has held, from international level to the IPL and the BBL, has been by invitation rather than application and he admitted he may have assumed it was the same with the ECB after they made an initial enquiry about his availability and willingness six months ago, before inviting him to London a week before the interview.
He said he had been as ‘authentic and honest as possible’ during the interview and believed he could add great value to England cricket, especially working with the Test team.
Kirsten, who led both India and South Africa to the No 1 Test ranking — and India to the 2011 World Cup — also found himself on the Cricket SA interview panel which appointed Ottis Gibson as the Proteas’ coach as well as Stephen Rhodes for Bangladesh. He said he believes a strong reference check with players and coaches provides as good, if not better information than the traditional interview process to ascertain whether a candidate is suitable for a position.
Kirsten declined to comment on specific scenarios or players in English cricket during his ECB interview because he had not spoken to them and felt he was not in possession of sufficient information.
Chris Silverwood, 44, has succeeded Trevor Bayliss as head coach of the England cricket team
He said he believed offering a view or opinion on specific strategies or individuals would have been inappropriate without a deeper and more thorough understanding of the inside workings of the English cricket team.
But he did offer a list of important ‘discussion points’ which he hoped to pursue if given the job. ‘I’m very grateful to Ashley for the invitation to interview for one of the biggest coaching jobs in the world and I genuinely wish Chris and the team all the best in the next few years,’ he said. ‘England are world champions and have some of the most exciting and talented cricketers. The future looks bright.
‘Who knows what the future holds but if I feature on a shortlist again, I would take that as a great compliment.’
Kirsten’s next assignment will be as head coach of the Durban Heat franchise in South Africa’s T20 Mzansi Super League in November before he shifts his attention to The Hundred.
Bayliss (middle) guided England to their first ever Cricket World Cup on home soil this summer