Australian great Shane Warne and Liz Hurley. (AGENCIES)
Gary Kirsten, man behind the World Cup triumph, likely to now coach South Africa
Australian great Shane Warne has offered to coach Team India after Gary Kirsten officially resigned on Tuesday following their World Cup triumph.
The legendary Australian leg spinner has said he wants to coach the World Cup winners, saying he would enjoy working with MS Dhoni’s boys, India Today website reported.
“It's tough to replace Gary Kirsten as a coach. He has been a very good coach,” said Warne widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game.
“It won’t be difficult to work with the Indian team now. I think I’ll enjoy working with the Indian team,” said Warne who has been captain and mentor of Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals since the inception.
Warne is a World Cup winner himself in 1999 being part of the Australian ‘Invincibles’ during Steve Waugh’s reign.
He retired from international cricket in January 2007 bagging over 1,000 wickets in both Tests and one-day internationals but led the Jaipur side to victory in the inaugural edition of the IPL.
The 41-year-old Warne, who has never captained Australia, is known as much for controversies off the field as for his brilliant show on it.
After the ‘bitter’ experience that Team India had with Greg Chappell, it would be interesting to see whether the Indian players would be willing to accept another headstrong coach.
Kirsten to coach Proteas
kiratenIndia's players Virat Kohli, right, and Suresh Raina, left, carry coach Gary Kirsten, center, after India won the Cricket World Cup final match between Sri Lanka and India in Mumbai, India. (AP)
World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten may take over as coach of South Africa.
The former South African opening batsman admitted that he was approached to take over their vacant coaching position just hours after India’s World Cup triumph, The Guardian reported.
During his three years in charge, Kirsten guided India to their first World Cup victory for 28 years and also helped them become the top-ranked Test team in the world.
“They have approached me, but I’ve said I’m not going to make any decisions just yet,” he said. “I need to take some time off and clear my mind for a while after this magnificent journey.”
South Africa have been planning since December for a replacement for Corrie van Zyl, who took temporary charge 15 months ago after Mickey Arthur’s resignation and will revert to his role as head of the high-performance centre in Pretoria.
“From a while back we wanted to win the World Cup and become the No 1 ranked Test team in the world, so to have achieved both is amazing,” Kirsten said. “We’ve had incredible support, but for me the credit goes to the players.”
South Africa crashed out of the World Cup losing the quarter-finals to New Zealand, while a Kirsten-led India went on to beat Sri Lanka in the final.
Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa, has indicated that a shortlist of six will be drawn up soon with a decision to be made by June. Other names on the list include assistant coach, Vince Barnes, Allan Donald, who is currently New Zealand’s bowling coach and former New Zealand captain, Stephen Fleming.
Tendulkar to be conferred ‘Bharat Ratna’
India's Sachin Tendulkar poses with the trophy after winning the Cricket World Cup final against Sri Lanka in the backdrop of the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai, India. (AP)
Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar is to be conferred the ‘Bharat Ratna’, the country’s highest civilian award on a recommendation by the Maharashtra Assembly on Tuesday.
The motion congratulating the team and recommending Bharat Ratna for Tendulkar was moved by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and supported by all parties, according to Indian media.
“We recommend that Tendulkar be conferred with the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to sports,” Chavan said before the house adopted the resolution unanimously.
Noting that after 28 years, the dreams of 1.2 billion Indians has come true, Chavan announced that the state government will honour players from Maharashtra Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan with a cash prize of Rs one crore and a citation.
Sachin greatest role model
Sachin Tendulkar (GETTY)
Gary Kirsten hailed Indian star Sachin Tendulkar as the greatest sporting role model soon after officially relinquishing his job as coach of Team India.
Kirsten, still soaking in the Indian team’s huge high of lifting the World Cup, chose to bid adieu calling it “one of the hardest goodbyes” he's ever had to say.
The former South African opener, who before taking up the job had no previous experience as a coach, heaped tons of praise on the Indian team and its captain MS Dhoni. Times of India reported.
Reading from a statement, Kirsten said: “Tonight, I leave with my wife to return to South Africa. It’s been a remarkable journey over the last three years with Team India. This has been one of the most cherished experiences of my life.”
He specially thanked Tendulkar, whom he called as the greatest sporting model he had ever met. “To Sachin, I want to say thank you for your friendship. You are the greatest sporting role model I have ever met. Your humility, your work ethics and your pure love for the game of cricket has been a pleasure to watch,” Kirsten read out.
The coach was also not short on words while speaking about Dhoni. “In him India has one of its great leaders. A calm and level-headed person, I have never seen him lose temper. He is a 100 per cent man who leads by example and believes in taking responsibility on his own shoulders and feels the most when a team loses,” he said.
Asked about his future role, he said: “At the moment, I’ve signed nothing. I was offered a few IPL offers but I’ve turned them all down for the specific reason that I wanted to have some time off after this Indian sojourn with my family which I have missed tremendously.”
Looking at the road ahead, Kirsten wished India became No. 1 in ODIs too. “They have two big tours of England and Australia, and also the West Indies. England, having won the Ashes, are going to be a big challenge. India should look to retain their No. 1 Test status before they get down to Australia. There are some really nice milestones set to reach. There is the No. 1 position in ODIs to look ahead for as well,” he said.
Senior players want two-week break from IPL
Sachin Tendulkar of India is chaired around the field by team mates as they celebrate victory after the 2011 ICC World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium. (GETTY)
Several senior India players have requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for two weeks of rest from the forthcoming IPL, MID DAY reported.
The fourth edition of the IPL begins on Friday with defending champions Chennai Super Kings taking on Kolkata Knight Riders.
A senior Board official has promised the players that the Board would request IPL franchises to grant the players a break. These players haven’t asked the franchises, but the board for reprieve.
However, it would be up to the franchises to allow the players to skip the first two weeks of the IPL and help recover from the euphoria of the World Cup.
All the Indian players with the exception of skipper MS Dhoni returned to their respective homes on Sunday.
It is further learnt that Ashish Nehra, who will turn out in the fourth season for Pune Warriors, is likely to be ruled out of the first half of the tournament owing to his finger injury.
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