Won World Cup with India, former coach Gary Kirsten explains decision to join Pakistan


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) took a major step on Sunday by announcing the appointment of World Cup winner Gary Kirsten as head coach for ODIs and T20Is, while former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie will assume the role in Test cricket. Kirsten has already enjoyed successful stints with India and South Africa, with her 2011 OD World Cup triumph with the MS Dhoni-led side arguably being the highlight. Alongside them, former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has been appointed as the team's assistant coach across all formats.

Talking about her decision to coach the Pakistan team, Kirsten said her main goal remains to unite the Pakistan white ball team.

“It is a huge honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of coaching the Pakistan men's national team in white-ball cricket and to join the international cricket arena after some time. I am looking forward to this opportunity and I intend to contribute positively to the Pakistan men's national team in limited-overs cricket, Kirsten's strategy focuses on prioritizing continuity in team selections, with the aim of creating a. stable and cohesive environment that allows players to perform at their best. He believes that maintaining a cohesive unit and building a strong team dynamic is essential for the team to succeed in competitions. international.

“One of the most beautiful aspects of cricket is its universality. Across cultures, there is a common understanding when we discuss the game. My aim is to unite the Pakistan men's white-ball team, harnessing their talents considerable efforts towards a common goal and achieving success together on the ground,” he said.

Kirsten, who is currently mentoring the Gujarat Titans in the IPL, is set to take over Pakistan's tour of England from May 22.

Pakistan will play four T20Is and from there the team will travel for the T20 World Cup in June.

Pakistan have been looking for a full-time head coach since the end of last year's 50-over World Cup, where they failed to progress to the knockout stages.

After their chaotic effort in the showpiece event hosted in India, Pakistan had sacked the entire coaching staff – head coach Grant Bradburn, team manager Mickey Arthur, bowling coach Morne Morkel and hitting coach Andrew Puttick.

Opener Babar Azam was also stripped of his captaincy after the ICC showpiece, with Pakistan opting to name pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi as the white-ball leader and Shan Masood doing that duty in Tests.

Along with this, Pakistan also turned to former cricketer Muhammad Hafeez for the role of guide during their tour of Australia.

But Hafeez lost his job after Pakistan lost 0-3 in the Test series and 1-4 in the T20Is.

While Masood was retained as Test captain, Afridi was relieved of his duties and Babar was reinstated in the last week of March.

However, Pakistan could not find a full-time head coach despite approaching some big names such as Matthew Hayden and Shane Watson.

Eventually, they zeroed in on Kirsten, who had led India to the World Cup triumph in 2011, and Gillespie, who has a wealth of coaching experience with English county Sussex.

With PTI inputs

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