Gary Kirsten to meet with ECB to discuss England head coach position
Gary Kirsten will meet with the England and Wales Cricket Board on Wednesday to outline his vision for the men’s national team and its vacant head coach position.
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The former South Africa opener, 51, has emerged as the leading candidate for the role given a coaching CV that includes taking both his home country and India to No 1 in the Test rankings, as well as overseeing the latter’s World Cup win in 2011.
Kirsten has been reluctant to coach at international level since leaving the South Africa post in 2013 due to travel demands and time away from home. He has predominantly operated on the Twenty20 circuit since but has gone through England’s future tours programme and decided he can make it work.
Ashley Giles, the director of England cricket, is overseeing the process to find a replacement for Trevor Bayliss and previously stated the new head coach will be able to miss some series amid a hectic schedule, allowing the assistants to take charge for short spells and further their own experience.The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email.
Giles had previously stated his preference for an Englishman, with Chris Silverwood, the current fast bowling coach, considered another frontrunner due to his previous title-winning experience at Essex. Surrey’s Alec Stewart has also been linked, so too England’s batting coach, Graham Thorpe. Graham Ford, the South African coach of Ireland, is another known to have been sounded out.
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With Eoin Morgan committed to leading the limited-overs sides for another 12 months at least – the T20 World Cup next year in Australia is the new goal – the focus for Giles is now finding the ideal candidate to support Joe Root in Test cricket and build a side that can regain the Ashes in 2021/22.
Silverwood and Thorpe are expected to take charge for the upcoming tour of New Zealand regardless, having been pencilled in on an interim basis and squads for the five Twenty20 internationals and two Test matches already selected.
Should Kirsten land the job, he would not be free until December’s trip to South Africa due to a previously-agreed commitment with Durban Heat in the country’s Mzansi Super League.
However, England could yet buy him out of that contract to speed up his arrival, while they would also need to find a replacement head coach for the Cardiff-based team in the Hundred – a role Kirsten signed up to back in August.