Cricket World Cup 2011
Vast SA clamour for Kirsten
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Gary Kirsten on the line to CSA? (File)
Cape Town – If Cricket South Africa used Sport24 readers as their main yardstick, they would want to up their quest to land the services of Gary Kirsten as next national coach.
We have been running a poll this week asking readers the straight question: Who would you like to see named as the next Proteas coach?
And it is a bit of a no-contest, with Kirsten, India’s World Cup-winning mastermind, massively bossing the survey among a field of eight options we provided.
At the time of writing on Wednesday, Kirsten hogged exactly 75 percent of the vote, with the rest of the field basically sharing the crumbs.
At one point a day earlier, support for the former Proteas left-handed batsman ran at over 80 percent – perhaps it has come down a tad only because of rumours that Kirsten prefers the prospect of a pretty extended break from cricket to focus on his family life.
But the situation remains fluid with no certainty either way and CSA still holding their cards closely to their chests.
For the record, SA-based Duncan Fletcher, an existing batting consultant to the national side and the off-field brains behind England’s immortal recapture of the Ashes after a long drought in 2005, runs a distant second with six percent of approval.
Allan Donald, the ex-Proteas strike bowler who coaches New Zealand’s bowlers and must have been at least partly influential in the Black Caps’ shock disposal of South Africa in the World Cup quarter-finals, is next with five percent.
Sharing four percent each are Richard Pybus, the star domestic coach of the season who earned two trophies in his first season with the Cape Cobras, and Vincent Barnes, SA’s long-time incumbent bowling coach.
Then there are mere dribbles of support for Eric Simons, a former SA coach and one of Kirsten’s key assistants with India and Dave Nosworthy (two percent each) and even a few remaining, approving nods (three percent) for Corrie van Zyl despite the outgoing national coach definitely returning to his High Performance portfolio now.