Reports: Gary Kirsten likely to join RCB coaching staff for IPL 2018
What's the story?
Former South African opener Gary Kirsten is likely to join the coaching staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for next year's edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). According to reports from ESPNCricinfo, the popular T20 franchise is closing in on securing the services of the erstwhile Indian team coach.
Considering that RCB have not made any official announcement yet, it remains unclear on what capacity Kirsten will join the support staff. However, despite the 50-year old's prospective inclusion, current head coach Daniel Vettori will reportedly stay with the team management in one role or another.
In the past...
Upon making his international debut in 1993, Kirsten represented South Africa in 101 Tests and 185 ODIs in a stellar career spanning until 2004. He amassed over 14,000 runs across the two formats and scored as many as 34 international centuries.
The heart of the matter
Since retiring from the game, Kirsten began to formulate plans on launching his own academy. However, a coaching opportunity came his way when BCCI looked to fill the position left vacant by Greg Chappell's tumultuous exit.
After officially stepping in as Indian team's head coach in early 2008, Kirsten enjoyed an extremely productive stint which eventually culminated in the number one Test ranking as well as the 2011 World Cup triumph on home soil. He proceeded to take over a similar role with the South African team until August 2013.
Reluctant to take on further international commitments, Kirsten looked towards the IPL to continue his coaching career. He signed with Delhi Daredevils for a three-year stint from 2014. But the team's underwhelming campaigns in his first two years resulted in the management parting ways with Kirsten at the end of 2015.
Earlier this year, Kirsten signed a two-year contract with Hobart Hurricanes in Australia's Big Bash League (BBL). If the prevailing reports bear fruition, he could soon return to the IPL as part of RCB's coaching staff.
Even as discussions are understood to be taking place between the South African and RCB's owners, the complete details of Kirsten's role is likely to be revealed by the franchise in the coming days. For the moment, he will be focusing on Hurricanes' season opener against Melbourne Renegades at the Bellerive Oval on Thursday.
With the team eager to bounce back from what was an utterly shambolic campaign in the 2017 season, Kirsten can be a solid addition to RCB's coaching staff. While his previous IPL stint with the Daredevils may have been disappointing, the South African legend's proven coaching skills will come in handy if he returns to the IPL.