South Africa appoint World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten

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Gary Kirsten has been appointed as the new coach of South Africa.

The 43-year-old former India coach, who has signed a two-year contract, was unveiled at a press conference in Johannesburg this afternoon.

He said: "I'm delighted by the appointment and consider it a major honour."

Kirsten will take over the position on August 1 and replaces interim coach Corrie van Zyl, who was given the job when Mickey Arthur resigned following the home series against England in 2009-10.

He helped India take over the position of the world's number one Test team and also led them to glory in the World Cup, where South Africa could reach only the quarter-finals.

As a player, he was the first South African to reach the milestones of 100 Test caps, 7,000 Test runs and 20 Test centuries.

Kirsten explained: "It is all about the players...we will do our best to prepare all the guys."

He continued: "Having filled the same position with the Indian national team for the past three years I believe this is a natural progression as far as my coaching career is concerned.

"My coaching philosophy will not be any different than it was for the Indian team. I always endeavour to influence players in a positive way and give them options so that they can grow both as cricketers and as people."

Cricket South Africa CEO Gerald Majola said: "We are delighted to welcome Gary back as part of the CSA family.

"We have been through an exhaustive but rewarding process to find the best possible candidate for the job and we are totally confident that we have done just that.

"The selection of Gary has brought to an end a process that started several years ago when he first expressed interest in the position.

"His credentials and cricketing experiences speak for themselves and the board of CSA is confident that he will lead the Proteas to new heights in all formats of the game.

"It has been highly encouraging to see the calibre of candidates from around the world who applied for this prestigious position and it confirms the high regard for South African cricket around the world.

"Gary will now make recommendations regarding his key support staff and these positions will be announced as soon as contractual negotiations have been completed."

Russell Domingo will assist Kirsten, while Allan Donald has been confirmed as South Africa's bowling coach.

A consultant fielding coach has yet to be appointed - although it has been revealed the role will not be a permanent appointment.

Donald said: "When I got the call from Gary it took about half a second (to decide to work with him)."

South Africa have not played since their World Cup exit at the hands of New Zealand, with Australia their next opponents.

The Baggy Greens arrive in October for a tour comprising two Tests, three ODI matches and two Twenty20 contests.

Two months later a home series against Sri Lanka follows, with three Tests and five one-day internationals scheduled.

It was also confirmed at the press conference that Graeme Smith would retain his role as Test captain, with AB de Villiers taking over from Smith as skipper of the Proteas' one-day and Twenty20 international teams.