Dubai – Gary Kirsten has added yet another string to his expanding
bow as a globetrotting short-term coach, mentor or consultant.
Given his stated desire not to spend long periods away from
his Capetonian family, the former Proteas batsman and coach and mastermind of
India’s World Cup triumph in 2011 is reluctant to commit to full-time posts
But he manages to spread the cricket gospel nevertheless and
his latest gig here a few days ago was to hand out advice to a group of budding
United Arab Emirates players at an Emirates airline-sponsored ground and nets facility
in the tourist magnet of Dubai.
Kirsten held a two-day coaching clinic, at which 45 batsmen
got to experience around 25 personal “throw-downs” from him each – in almost
the same manner he used to serve Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar with thousands
of deliveries during his tenure as Indian national coach.
Tendulkar gratefully considered Kirsten his human “bowling
machine” in the closing years of his glittering career.
Kirsten’s visit earned a prominent report in the local Gulf
in which he received glowing praise from Gopal Jasapara, chief coach of the
Dubai academy, G Force, that organised the clinic.
“Kirsten showed why he is a genius and hailed as one of the
world’s best coaches,” Jasapara was quoted as saying.
“It was not merely teaching the techniques of the game, but
his sessions were a lesson on what makes a good cricketer on and off the
The left-handed former Proteas opener reportedly advised all
aspirant batsmen, if wishing to make the very most of their potential, to be
prepared to play at least 400 deliveries a day.
According to the paper, he was backed up on the trip by
Russell Symcox and Ryan Cook, respective sons of former SA national stars Pat
Symcox and Jimmy Cook.
Kirsten still provides a set number of days a year as batting
consultant to the Proteas, now coached by Russell Domingo.*Rob
Houwing has been visiting Dubai as a guest of Dubai Tourism