Gary Kirsten drops out of race for England job


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The Independent Online

Ashley Giles’ claims to become England’s new team director were strengthened yesterday when his main rival for the role, Gary Kirsten, effectively ruled himself out.

South African Kirsten is currently in charge of the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, having resigned as coach of his country’s national team last summer to spend more time at home with his family. He  suggested yesterday that he was not ready to return to international cricket.

“As far as I’m concerned, my sentiments have not changed,” Kirsten said, when asked about the England vacancy. “I suppose it is flattering that people are thinking about me.”

That clears the way for Giles, England’s limited-overs coach to take on the role vacated by Andy Flower’s resignation last week.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new managing director, Paul Downton, is unlikely to treat Giles’ succession as a fait accompli and is expected to cast a wide net as he plots the first key appointment of his tenure, which started yesterday.

Tom Moody yesterday indicated he would be open to an ECB offer while another South African Mickey Arthur – sacked just before last summer’s Ashes as coach of the Baggy Greens – would relish a return to the big stage.

Former Sri Lanka coach Moody said he would “look seriously” at any offer to replace Flower. Moody, who played eight Tests and 76 one-day internationals for Australia, led the Sri Lanka side from 2005 to 2007 and has also coached Worcestershire and Western Australia. The 48-year-old currently works in the IPL with Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was also named yesterday as the Caribbean Premier League’s director of cricket but nevertheless admits England is an attractive option.

Personal circumstances led to him declining the chance to talk to the ECB in 2009, leaving the way clear for Flower to take over from Peter Moores.“The England job is one that I think any aspiring coach would, depending on the timing of their life, want to take on, and I’m no different from that,” Moody said. “When the opportunity came up five years ago the timing wasn’t right from a personal perspective, but I look at it from the point of view that I’m lucky to have a pretty unique balance of roles currently. So it’s not something I’ve sent emails or made phone calls enquiring about, but if it presents itself I’ll look at it seriously and see what unfolds,” he added.

“When Andy got it, it was [at a time] when I’d first come back to Australia and the reason I got off the circuit was the timing, from a personal point of view. It was time for me to put some roots down and see my kids through senior school. I’ve got one at university now and one completing senior school.”

Meanwhile, England’s senior management team will meet today to discuss the make up of the squad for the forthcoming World T20 and, specifically, whether Kevin Pietersen should be included.