New coach Gary Kirsten joins Pakistan team ahead of England T20 series

Team in green face world champions in four-match series that begins on Wednesday

ABU DHABI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , MAY 8 – 2018 :- Gary Kirsten, former South African batsman and India’s World Cup Winning coach during the media round table conference held at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.  ( Pawan Singh / The National )  For Sports. Story by Amith
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Former South African opener Gary Kirsten joined the Pakistan team as their new head coach in Leeds ahead of the crucial four-match T20 series in England.

Kirsten, 56, was last month appointed as the white-ball head coach of the Pakistan team, with Australian Jason Gillespie the red-ball head coach.

Pakistan are scheduled to play four T20s against England, beginning at Headingley on Wednesday, to prepare for the T20 World Cup next month in the Caribbean and the US.

The team in green have delayed naming the final 15-man squad for the World Cup until the first T20.

But the side is in good hands as Kirsten is a proven performer. It was under his management that India won the 2011 ODI World Cup. He is the mentor and batting coach of Gujarat Titans who won the IPL title in their first attempt in 2022 and came agonisingly close to defending it the next year. However this year, Gujarat were knocked out of play-off contention on Monday.

Apart from next month’s T20 World Cup, Kirsten is set to guide the team during the home Champions Trophy in 2025, the 2026 T20 World Cup in India and Sri Lanka, and the T20 Asia Cup next year.

Kirsten said he was looking forward to working with a talented group that went all the way to the final of the 2022 T20 World Cup.

“I'm truly excited to embark on this new journey with the Pakistan men’s cricket team. It's an honour to coach such a talented and dynamic team, and I’m eager to contribute to their success on the international stage," Kirsten told Pakistan Cricket Board's website.

“However, success will require collective effort, meticulous planning and unwavering support for one another. With 19 other teams vying for the title, we must consistently outperform our rivals to realise our aspirations."

Kirsten played 101 Test matches and 185 ODIs for South Africa, scoring 14,087 runs with 34 centuries. He played in three World Cups between 1996-2003 before coaching the World Cup winning India team in 2011.

Kirsten also coached the South Africa team from 2011-13 and led them to the No 1 position in the ICC's Test rankings.

He has also managed several IPL franchises including Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Delhi Daredevils, now known as Delhi Capitals.

Meanwhile, former Aussie quick Gillespie will take charge of Pakistan’s red-ball team in August when they will play home matches for the World Test Championship against Bangladesh. The series will be followed by Tests against England in October before the team tours South Africa in December.

Pakistan will have their work cut out against world champions England after they were handed a huge scare in the preceding series against Ireland.

There, Pakistan had to rally after losing the opening match, winning the series 2-1 following a six-wicket win chasing 179 in Dublin.

Updated: May 20, 2024, 2:27 PM