Biography of Gary Kirsten: – Gary Kirsten is a former International cricketer from South Africa; Kirsten was born on November 23, 1967, in Cape Town, South Africa. Gary Kirsten was a technically sound batsman, an excellentmentor, and coach. While playing for South Africa and Western Province, Kirsten improved his batting and fielding throughout his career. Under his coaching, Team India won ICC Test Championship rankings and ICC World Cup 2011. Afterward, Gary Kirsten was appointed as the head coach of the South African cricket team and remained with the team for next two years. The results were same in Kirsten’s coaching. South Africa was on top in test format and in players ranking in that period.
Biography of Gary Kirsten
- Born:- 23 November 1967 (age 49), Cape Town, South Africa
- Spouse:- Deborah Kirsten
- Batting Style:- Left-handed
- Education:- University of Cape Town
- Children:- Joanna Kirsten, James, Joshua
- Siblings:- Peter Kirsten
The left-handed batsman was a naturally talented. His technique was less affected by his coaching staff and more prominent when he played with his natural style. Kirsten’s half brother Peter is also a former International cricketer who played for South Africa in 90s. In the opening position, Gary Kirsten scored 21 centuries in test cricket, and 13 in ODIs. His tally of centuries in overall first-class format is 46.
Gary Kirsten Stats and Records
In 101 test matches, Gary Kirsten scored 7289 runs with a batting average of 45.27. He scored 21 centuries in test centuries and 34 fifties with a highest score of 275 runs against England playing in South Africa. In the entire test career, Gary took two International Test wickets. In the first-class format, Gary Kirsten appeared in 221 matches (both domestic and International) scoring 16,000+ runs with a batting average of 48.31. His career included 46 FC centuries and 79 half-centuries. He also took 20 wickets in the overall first-class circuit.
In 185 ODI, Gary Kirsten scored 6798 runs with an astonishing average of 40.95 with the highest score of 188 not out against UAE in 1996 Cricket World Cup. The inning by Gary Kirsten is still a record for highest individual score by any South African batsman in ODIs. His score was also the highest-ever in World Cup history for 20 years. Just before the retirement, Gary Kirsten became the first-ever South African cricketer to compete in 100 test matches.
International Career of Gary Kirsten:
Gary Kirstenmade his ODI debut against Australia when South Africa was scheduled to tour the Island in 1993, his first International game was a test match played in Melbourne. After a good start, Gary began to convert his double figures to triple figures, stood on the crease for long periods with patience. Gary Kirsten was one of the few batsmen who waited for a loose ball instead of thrashing the good ones. His fourteen-hour long test inning is an example of patience and hard work that pays off in the end. Gary Kirsten played most of his domestic and club cricket with his half-brother Peter Kirsten. He was more of a hardworking type instead of relying on talent and ability, it made him a better coach for the years to come.
Once out in a foolish manner, the spectators and fans rarely saw him getting out in the same fashion for the next time, he constantly worked on his technique, made it stronger and better with time and succeeded in getting a right place in the line of most celebrated cricketers. Along with a controlled batting, Gary Kirsten was a prime player when it comes to fielding. He rarely dropped a catch, he was ready to shatter the stumps with his direct throws, and he was oppositely an electrifying fielder in the next inning coming to the field. It was the reason that he was leading run-scorer for South Africa in test format along with the most number of centuries, first-ever to play 100 tests, and the first centurion against the entire test playing nations. His 275-run inning is still fresh in the minds of South African cricket enthusiasts of that time. The home crowd when he was constructing a wall of runs against England was cheering every ball of the home side hero, it was a 14.5-hour long inning and stands as the second-highest in the history of test format. In his last test match, Gary Kirsten scored a well-deserved 76-run inning that was right on time to help South Africa draw the series in 2004 against New Zealand.
In 2007, Kirsten, along with Paddy Upton and Dale Williams, started a business known as Performance Zone, the garykirsten.com website that integrates sports and business matters with different International teams and franchises. The cricket coaching and advice are available as paid services on the internet site along with a non-profit Gary Kirsten Foundation that emphasizes on sporting ecosystems.
Only a couple of years after retirement, Gary Kirsten started a cricket academy in Cape Town, he was hired by couple of cricket clubs for coaching that he rejected that time. In 2008, Gary Kirsten started his new job i.e. to coach India. Kirsten signed a contract with BCCI in December 2007 and joined the team in 2008 as part of a two-year contract. Taking his charge on 1stMarch 2008, Kirsten’s first test as a coach was against South Africa, the series was drawn 1-1. In June 2008, a tri-series between India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh was arranged in Bangladesh. India went on to qualify for finals but lost to Pakistan in the final match. In Asia Cup 2008, India was into the finals, they lost again, this time Sri Lankan team defeated India comprehensively by 1000 runs.
India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy that was held in India by clean sweeping Australia 2-0, afterward, India won against Sri Lanka in a series for the first time. In the next year, India toured New Zealand and clinched victory after a long time in New Zealand. India won both the Test and ODI series after a40-year drought of failures and defeats.
India became number one in ICC Test Rankings. Gary Kirsten was there in Domestic leagues of India to hunt for young talent. In 2011, India won ICC Cricket World Cup under his mentorship. After winning the World Cup, MS Dhoni described Gary Kirsten as the best thing that happened to Indian Cricket. After the World Cup, Gary Kirsten opted out of his contract and indicated that he will not renew the contract with India. After leaving India, Kirsten was soon appointed the headcoach of South Africa for the summer season in 2011. In 2-year tenure as a headcoach of South Africa, the first thing Gary Kirsten did was to appoint AB Devilries as captain of the team. Under his coaching, South Africa topped the Test rankings in August 2012 after a comprehensive win against England. In 2013, Gary Kirsten stepped down from his position as a coach. He wanted to spend some time with family as he never settled after his retirement from International cricket.
Afterward, Delhi DareDevils, a franchise in the Indian Premier League appointed Gary Kirsten as their headcoach for three years. The contract will start from IPL eleventh edition and will remain valid for three years.
Gary Kirsten Family & Personal Life:
Kirsten’s father’s name is Noel Kirsten, he died in 1986 and played as a wicket-keeper batsman for Border, and his first-class career extends to 18 matches. Gary Kirsten has three brothers, of them two are half-brothers. All of his brothers were first class cricketers. Andy Kirsten played his first-class career for Western Province, of 11 matches, he scored 363 runs. Paul Kirsten is half-brother to Gary Kirsten. He was a wicket-keeper batsman and played for Border, Griqualand West, and Western Province. Paul played a total of 55 first-class matches and scored 1519 runs with a batting average of 21 and highest score of 91. Peter Noel Kirsten played for South Africa in 12 test matches; he scored 626 runs at a batting average of 31.30. He also scored a century and 4 half-centuries in Test format. In 40 ODIs, PN Kirsten scored 1293 with the help of 9 fifties and a batting average of 38.02. Peter’s career couldn’t flourish because of a lengthy ban of Cricket South Africa; he made his Test debut when he was 37-years old.
Deborah Kirsten and Gary Kirsten married in South Africa, both are living happily with their two sons, James Kirsten and Joshua Kirsten. Deborah Kirsten is also an author, she has written few books that include the autobiography of Gary Kirsten, Chai Tea and Ginger Beer, My Unexpected Journey: Cricket, family & Beyond. The book is divided into three parts, my story, his story, and Our Story. Deborah explained beautifully about her career, her meeting with Gary Kirsten for the first time, life as a wife of a cricketer, and raising kids alone. The book was published in March 2015 as an eBook on Amazon. The book explains her routines and experiences in India and South Africa with Gary Kirsten. The book is written in a humorous way with an easy to absorb style of writing.