Bangladesh eyes Gary Kirsten as team consultant

Bangladesh has been looking for a head coach for the national cricket team since October, after former Sri Lankan opener Chandika Hathurusingha stepped down.

BCB spokesperson Jalal Yunus said that it had offered Gary Kirsten (above) a different role unlike that of a head coach. (File Photo)   -  PTI

Bangladesh cricket authorities said on Tuesday that they were in talks with former South African batsman Gary Kirsten to hire him as a team consultant for an extended period.

Bangladesh has been looking for a head coach for the national cricket team since October, after former Sri Lankan opener Chandika Hathurusingha stepped down.

However, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) spokesperson Jalal Yunus said that it had offered Kirsten, 50, who was India’s coach when it won the 2011 World Cup, a different role unlike that of a head coach.

“He is on our list, but he will come only as a team consultant. It’s not final, though. Hopefully, we will be able to strike a deal after the Indian Premier League (IPL),” Yunus said.

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Kirsten, who played 101 Tests and 185 one-day internationals for South Africa before coaching the Proteas and India, will be in charge of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL, which begins on April 7.

“If he agrees, he will also work with the Under-19 and the A-team, and give us advice about cricket structure,” Yunus said. The BCB said that it would appoint a separate head coach for the national team, even if it reached an agreement with Kirsten.

“He will not always be with the team, he will deal with separate issues, work with development squads like what Eddie Barlow did. He (Kirsten) will give advice, but there will be a head coach.”

Former South African great Barlow was Bangladesh’s coaching director when the country achieved Test status in 2000. Former West Indies great Courtney Walsh acted as Bangladesh’s head coach during the recent Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 triangular tournament in Sri Lanka, in which it narrowly lost to India in the final. Yunus revealed that it is also in talks with former South African batsman Neil McKenzie as a possible batting consultant.