England news April 2, 2009

Kirsten denies link to England coaching job

Cricinfo staff

Gary Kirsten has denied he is on the "very short shortlist" of candidates for the England coach's job. Kirsten has been linked to the role in the British papers but he told Cricinfo he has not been contacted by the ECB.

"I am not a candidate," he said in Wellington where he is preparing the side for the third Test. Kirsten's two-year contract with India began in March 2008 and Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, said "His contract is till March 2010". N Srinivasan, the BCCI's secretary, refused to comment on the reports and dismissed them as "speculation by the UK media".

Andy Flower, who is currently the stand-in coach after the sacking of Peter Moores in January, remained the favourite to be appointed as England's new director of cricket, the Guardian and the Telegraph reported.

The reports claimed that a four-man ECB panel would interview the candidates on the shortlist at a secret location in the UK. Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, was also linked to the process though he said that he remained committed to his national contract till 2011.

"We have had a robust and transparent process," Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket, told reporters in St Lucia yesterday. "We are pleased with those who have applied. Our interview process will begin when we get home at the weekend with a view to appointing the permanent post before the West Indies series."

Significantly, Morris said that he was impressed with the way Flower managed his role after he took over in diffcult circumstances, following the removal of Moores and Kevin Pietersen as captain. "He has taken the challenges on board, gained the respect of players and management team and done really well," he said.

With inputs from Sidharth Monga in Wellington

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