Proteas begin hunt for new coach

Cricket South Africa began a lengthy process to appoint a new national coach on Wednesday following another dismal World Cup failure.

Updated: April 07, 2011 10:55 IST
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Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa began a lengthy process to appoint a new national coach on Wednesday following another dismal World Cup failure.

CSA launched its hunt for a replacement for Corrie van Zyl on the same day India's World Cup-winning coach and South Africa's No. 1 target, Gary Kirsten, returned home to Cape Town.

CSA had held its first meeting to review its list of candidates, the body said, but was unable to release names because of "confidentiality issues."

It also said the process was expected to take "a couple of months."

"Some of the candidates are still under contract," chief executive Gerald Majola said. "We understand the keenness of the nation to know the name of the successful candidate but the selection must be a thorough process to make sure that we get the best person for the job."

Majola said the interview process will begin on May 16. The new coach is expected to be named in June, ahead of test and one-day international series against Australia and Sri Lanka.

Former South African batsman Kirsten, 43, had already been considered the ideal man to take over from interim coach Van Zyl even before he led India to the summit of the 50-over game with Saturday's six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the World Cup final.

Under the South African, India has also climbed to the top of the test rankings.

However, a high-pressure, three-year spell in charge of the world's most-followed team has caused Kirsten to want to focus on spending time with his family after stepping down as India's coach.

Kirsten, who played 101 tests and 185 ODIs for the Proteas, confirmed he was approached by CSA but neither he nor the association would say if he was on the final shortlist.

"I have made no commitments to anything," Kirsten told South African TV's e-News on arrival in Cape Town on Wednesday. "I have had contacts with Cricket South Africa but that was going back a long time ago. But I've made no commitments.

"As I said it was a while ago (the approach). It's a long process these things, you know. If it works out right something can happen. But my main priority now is to have some time off and relax and clear my mind."

South Africa fell to a surprise loss to New Zealand in the World Cup quarterfinals last month, continuing a woeful run where it has lost every one of the five knockout games it has played at the World Cup since 1992.

The team faces a new start, with Graeme Smith also stepping down as ODI skipper alongside Van Zyl.

CSA said South Africa's new coach will be selected by a six-man panel, which includes Majola, chief selector Andrew Hudson and Van Zyl.

"What is highly gratifying is the quality of the applications received from leading coaches both from around the world and from our domestic structures," Majola said. "It is a clear indication of the standing that South African cricket enjoys internationally and of the potential that our side offers."

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