IPL news September 3, 2013

Kirsten signs up as Delhi Daredevils coach


Gary Kirsten, the former South Africa batsman and ex-India coach, has been appointed as head coach of Delhi Daredevils from 2014. The franchise announced its association with Kirsten, who has signed a three-year contract, on Tuesday in Hyderabad, the city were Daredevils' owners, GMR Holdings are based.

TA Sekar, the Daredevils team mentor, said that Kirsten's name was "suggested" by Eric Simons, who was named the franchise's head coach in 2012. Simons was the bowling coach when Kirsten was India's head coach and the pair had played a crucial role in India's climb up the Test rankings and their 2011 World Cup win. Simons will continue to work with the team, assisting Kirsten.

Kirsten played 101 Tests in an 11-year South Africa career and then, after retirement in 2004, he moved on to coaching, working with the Titans franchise as a batting consultant. In December 2007, he was named India coach. After the team's success in the Test arena, his three-and-a-half-year stint with India ended with the 2011 World Cup win. He then returned home and took up the South Africa job. In August 2012, South Africa beat England in England to displace them as the No. 1 ranked Test team, and later in the year they beat Australia in Australia to firmly establish themselves at the top of the rankings. He stepped down as South Africa coach at the end of July this year, saying he would like to spend more time with his family than working year-round with an international team allowed.

According to Sekar, Kirsten's proven credentials and his familiarity with the Indian players made the decision to appoint him easier. Delhi's poor run in IPL 2013, when they finished last in the league stage, was also an important factor when the management sat down to work out their plans for the future.

"After the last IPL, we sat down to work out what we needed to do to bounce back, considering we did not have a good season in 2013. Eric himself suggested that now that Gary wasn't South Africa coach, why don't we consider him (for the head coach). We approached him and he finally agreed," Sekar said.

"There is no guarantee to performance. All I can I offer is the best of my thinking.
Gary Kirsten

Kirsten said it was a "relatively easy" decision to make because of Simons' recommendation, though he did state that he was entering a format where he did not have much experience. "It is a massive privilege and honour to be involved in franchise cricket. It is a first of its kind for me, having done two international stints," Kirsten said at the media conference. "I am very excited and I am looking forward to the challenge. I am looking forward to adding value and hopefully bringing something to the franchise and help them perform as well as they can."

According to Kirsten his past success as an international coach did not guarantee that he could make Delhi the best IPL team overnight. He also admitted that franchise cricket was a "new space" for him.

"There is no silver bullet. It is a process that needs to unfold. I am relishing that challenge that sits in front (of me)," Kirsten said. "A whole lot of things have to work out right. We have an auction process in the IPL. It is a critical process, in terms of getting the type of players that you want that fit into strategies.

"There is no guarantee to performance. All I can I offer is the best of my thinking. Delhi Daredevils, from what I have seen have had some success, and good success, too. So we need to learn from the success that they have had, as well as learn from where it has been tough, from where the team hasn't done well."

Having not had much experience in the T20 format, Kirsten said he would rely on "lieutenants" like Simons and Sekar to help him out. "Your basic philosophy doesn't change. My challenge will be that I haven't had a huge amount of experience at T20 cricket and no experience in the IPL. So my lieutenants, and the people that I am working closely with, are going to be very important in that space," Kirsten said.

According to Kirsten, a coach could play a significant role in the team's success: "From a coaching perspective, it is even more exciting because there is a lot happening very quickly. And you are making a lot of changes and shifts in a short space of time. I am looking forward to that constant movement and the coach can play a significant role."

Sekar stressed that Kirsten's strength as a leader also played an equally important role his appointment. Kirsten is the Daredevils' third overseas coach after Australian Greg Shipperd and Simons. "[He is] a good leader, good communicator, good man-manager and he has very good track record. IPL is a tournament where both Indians and overseas players play together and Gary relates to both sets of players well," Sekar said.

Kirsten, 45, had stepped down as South Africa's coach, stating that he needed to be with his young family. However, Sekar said Kirsten would not face a similar issue during his IPL stint, because he would need to be away for a short term annually: "Though he takes over immediately in terms of strategising the team plans, he will be in India for two months and they [Kirsten's family] might come for a month."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • binu on September 5, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    DD should go for David Wissae and Alex Hales then the should go for Milind Kumar the local player

  • Shiv on September 5, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Does logart know this? He might just be upset.

  • Android on September 4, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    I think delhi can win an ipl under kirsten.IPL 2013 was just a realit check for D.D.

  • greig on September 4, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    How much did they pay him. It must be a huge pay-cheque.

  • Ashok on September 4, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Delhi Daredevils had one of the strongest team last year in the IPL yet they finished last after being amongst the leaders the previous year. The problem was absence of team work. They had 4 best seamers in Morkel, Yadev, Agarkar & Nehra + 2 good spinners. They also had the batting led by Sehwag, Juneja & Chand + Mahela. In IPL T20 team work is crucial. DD will not have the same team this year but they have the "Guru" Kirsten managing & coaching the team. He rallied India & led them to be #1 Test team in the World. I am sure his experience will certainly make DD play & compete as a Team in the next IPL. Hyderabad Sun Risers with superb team work finished high up in the ranking even without many big names like DD had. Good luck Gary Kirsten & DD!

  • o on September 4, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Delhi were real weak last yr they neet to boost the side should sign Michael Carberry and Krimar Santokie. Carberry has been best T20 batsman in English game last few yrs and Santokie the best bowler in Carribean T20 also 2 yrs running !

  • Sherjil on September 4, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Wow!!! Can't wait to see Gary in scheme of things again with Indian cricket.

  • Nanda Kumar on September 4, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    DD's problems started at the auction after IPL 3. Their team selection was to say the least with out common sense. There was no balance in the team and KP and Ryder not being available just added to the trouble. I suspect that Gary will have a big role to play in the selection of the team in the next auction. A number of stars will not be available like SRT, RD,MH, RT etc. So most of the teams will go in for a fair bit of churn of the team. Also the single agenda will be to break up the CSK team which has been stable for the last 6 years. Auction 2014 will set the tone for the competitiveness of the teams. GK will have a critical role to play.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    It's a very welcome thing and great news, That Gary returns back, II had read some of the comments here in cricinfo recently and I see some pakistan brothers exhibiting a great pang of jealousy for the riches and clout India have in BCCI , IPL well instead I like to humbly suggest them to focus less on hating others for their superiority, and more on developing themselves wether in cricket or in conduct.

  • nayan mani on September 3, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Great decision by the Delhi Daredevils as they can not get a better coach than Gary Kirsten. He got a great record himself as a player as-well as coach..He is a good leader & good communicator too which will help Delhi.. All the very best to him as-well as to Delhi Daredevils...