Gary Kirsten
Former South African cricketer Gary Kirsten, set to start his tenure as Pakistan’s white-ball coach from May 22 ahead of their tour of England, targets securing at least one ICC trophy during his two-year stint.

Gary Kirsten, Pakistan’s newly appointed head coach, has set a clear objective for the national cricket team: to secure victory in at least one of the upcoming ICC events within the next three years. With the T20 World Cups in 2024 and 2026, along with the 2025 ODI Champions Trophy hosted by the PCB, Kirsten aims to guide Babar Azam and his squad to triumph.

Transitioning from his role as mentor for the IPL’s Gujarat Titans, Kirsten will assume his coaching duties on May 22 ahead of Pakistan’s tour of England. Expressing his aspirations in a PCB Podcast, Kirsten stressed the importance of optimal team performance and strategic planning to compete at the highest level and achieve success in ICC tournaments.

“If you can win one of those three ICC Events, that will be an amazing achievement on its own, whether it’s the upcoming event (T20 World Cup) or it is two years from now,” Kirsten said.

“My job is to make sure that the team operates at its best. If the team is operating at its best, we will always have a good chance of winning a trophy. So for me, it will be really important to understand where is the team now and where it needs to go to be able to compete right at the top of the pile, and that’s winning ICC events,” he added.

Gary Kirsten also acknowledged the time constraints due to his ongoing IPL commitments before the T20 World Cup in June, emphasizing the importance of building team structures and providing clarity to players in the limited time available. Despite the quick turnaround, Kirsten expressed confidence in interim head coach Azhar Mahmood and highlighted the opportunity to work with Pakistan’s talented cricketers as a major draw for accepting the coaching role.

READ ALSO | Pakistan Appoints Gary Kirsten as White-Ball coach and Jason Gillespie as Red-ball Coach ahead of T20 World Cup 

Passionate about coaching and experienced in short-format leagues, Kirsten finds the intensity of T20 cricket exciting and sees it as a chance to implement various coaching strategies.

“I was offered the role, to begin with…what is important is that I have the opportunity to work with some of the best cricketers in the world and that excites me. I love coaching, first of all. So that’s an important point. I’ve been involved in the short-format leagues for several years now. The intensity around every game is pretty exciting,’ he said.

“It’s always wonderful from a coaching perspective when you can help them (players) unlock their real potential. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to working with those individual players and the team and assisting them that way. You know your household names – your Babar Azam, your Mohammad Rizwan, your Shaheen Afridi, your Haris Rauf. All these guys have been around the circuit for a long time. I’m looking forward to understanding what makes them tick and how I can help them to be the best versions of themselves going forward. That is going to be of benefit to the national team,” he added.

Over the next two years, Pakistan is slated to participate in three ICC Events, including two T20 World Cups and one Champions Trophy.



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Last Updated on April 29, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter