Former Proteas coach Gary Kirsten has committed to coaching in South Africa again, it was confirmed on Thursday.
The 51-year-old, who coached India to a World Cup triumph in 2011, was named as head coach of the Durban Heat ahead of the 2019 edition of the Mzansi Super League .
“I have got fond memories of playing cricket at Kingsmead and with my wife being from these parts she thinks it is a natural progression,” Kirsten said of his appointment.
“It is also a great opportunity to be involved in South African cricket and when Heinrich (Strydom, Dolphins CEO) gave me the call I thought it was a great chance to stay relevant in the T20 space.
“For us as a franchise we want to ignite as much interest in the game as possible.
“The priority is obviously to win games but we want to get people behind the brand and get the spectators to feel that the Durban Heat is their team.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to add as much value as I can to the side that we select so that they can reach their potential.
“I find that every league is different and it’s going to be important that we get into a rhythm early.”
Strydom went out on a limb to secure the services of Kirsten and he couldn’t think of a better man for the job.
“We took a shot in the dark and I gave Gary a ring and he said yes,” Strydom said.
“To have his knowledge and his skills on board is incredible and hopefully we will have a good, long relationship going forward.
“As a respected, humble ex-Protea player there are so many positive things that you can say about him and to have him on board is exactly what the game in South Africa needs.
“We are extremely grateful that Gary has taken this opportunity to lead the Durban Heat.”