• Kirsten backed to succeed Bayliss

    Renowned cricket commentator Mark Nicholas proposes former South African batsman Gary Kirsten can be England’s next head coach.

    The outgoing Trevor Bayliss’ tenure ended with last week’s 2-2 Ashes series draw and a successor is required ahead of England’s tours of New Zealand and South Africa later this year.

    ‘There is a man out there who fits this bill. His name is Gary Kirsten, the South African with an unmatched pedigree among the requirements for England captain Joe Root. Kirsten made a mountain of runs the hard way, has coached both India and South Africa in all formats, and earned universal respect for his serenity and wisdom,’ Nicholas wrote in an ESPNcricinfo column.

    ‘He is a kind man, well versed in modern ways and tough as they come. The great players of the age have benefited from his calm approach to the teachings of cricket – indeed Giles could call any one of Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni for a reference to this understated but never undervalued man for all seasons.’

    Kirsten has worked with the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, and Hobart Hurricanes in Australia’s Big Bash League. He will coach the Durban Heat in the 2019 Mzansi Super League later and the Western Fire in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s The Hundred next year.

    ‘Kirsten will take some persuading. It is not in the family’s instinct to up sticks but the value of the South African rand against sterling can make for convincing bait; that and the challenge of setting England straight on the path to the first World Test Championship final at home in two years’ time,’ added Nicholas.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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