Former South African player and head coach of the Indian cricket team Gary Kirsten has been appointed the head coach and mentor of Royal Challengers Bangalore. He will take over the mantle from Daniel Vettori, who took charge as the coach in 2013 and spent eight years at the franchise, both as a coach and a player.
"It has been a great eight-year journey with Daniel Vettori and we wish him the very best for all future endeavours. We are very happy to have Gary Kirsten take on the mantle of coach and mentor for RCB," Team Chairman Sanjeev Churiwala said.
Kirsten has Kohli's backing
This appointment comes even as the RCB top brass was visibly upset about not winning any titles despite being in the league since its inception. Kirsten was appointed as the batting coach of RCB for the 2018 season and this decision comes as it has the approval of captain Virat Kohli.
"I had the privilege of coaching with the RCB team last season under head coach Daniel Vettori and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I look forward to continuing the journey with RCB and doing my best to help the franchise reach its potential. I want to thank the team management for considering me in a leadership position with the franchise and I look forward to a successful few years," Kirsten said after being roped in as the coach.
Kirsten has worked with Kohli when he was the coach of the Indian team back in 2008-2011. He then switched over to South Africa in a similar role. He entered the Indian Premier League when he coached the Delhi Daredevils, but after two middling seasons, he was let go. The South African also has the experience of coaching Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.
Despite having AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in their ranks, RCB did not qualify for the playoffs this season. The scenario was even bleak last year as they finished last in the league.
Kirsten's first job as a coach should be to look at the combinations and rejig the team balance. The bowling depth has been a problematic area for RCB over the past few years and this what he should look to address at the auctions which will be held next year.