Pune: Gary Kirsten. This name is of great significance in cricket loving India as it was during his tenure as the coach India ended their 28-year wait to lift the Cricket World Cup.
Ever since he has lifted the coveted trophy, Kirsten has worked as the head coach of the South African national side as well as IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils. Currently, he is the coach of Big Bash League side Hobart Hurricanes, as well as works as a batting coach of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The highly acclaimed coach, who has his academy ‘Gary Kirsten Cricket’ based in Cape Town, is launching the same in India in various cities including Pune where he has teamed up with ‘Grassroot Academy.’
At the launch of the academy, the 50-year-old coach expressed why he wanted to set up an academy in Pune and other aspects of the game.
“The idea behind the academy was that I have always wanted to be involved at a coaching level in India after my three years of coaching the national team here,” said the 50-years old. The reason being (for starting the academy) is I can see much love and the passion for the game and I think from my coaching perspective, I always felt that I would like to be in a space where cricket is loved as much as it is.”
“It is really great for us to join the ‘Grassroot Academy’ here in Pune and to bring our coaching expertise to this environment where there is real love and passion for the game,” he further added.
What sets Kirsten apart from the others is his philosophy about the game, as he perfectly understands that not everyone can make it to the top of the ladder but the individual should be able to enjoy the game.
“We want to set up an academy where cricket is a place of joy for people, that’s a number one priority. Joy is more important than the performance. The fact that cricket can have an influence on your life is important that you end up playing as a professional because the very small percentage of the people are going to end up playing professionally. But if cricket can be a place where you learn other things of life, like being a team player, it kept you fit, that for us could be very important, and I certainly see that in India where cricket is a joy for people,” Kirsten, elaborated his philosophy in simple words.
Apart from speaking about his academy, the south-paw batsmen also spoke about the various events revolving around the sport. With the 11th edition of the IPL going on, there has been a lot of talk about the pressure and workload the players go through.
“There is pressure attached to sport anywhere. All the mental interventions in the sport talk about trying to separate the performance from the skill,” he said.
“The expectation around performance creates pressure and all great players are able to do that. They just focus on the skills. The guys like Dhoni has done that really well, just staying in the moment and the result takes care of itself,” said Kirsten, who has played 101 Tests for his country.
On Thursday, Justin Langer was appointed as the new coach of the Australian Cricket team after the ball-tampering saga, Kirsten sees no reason for Langer to succeed in his new job.