Johannesburg, August 8: Former India and South Africa head coach Gary Kirsten has taken up the role of head coach of the Durban Heat during the Mzansi Super League 2019.
Kirsten is currently the head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and he has also worked with Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League last year.
"I have got fond memories of playing cricket at Kingsmead and, with my wife being from these parts, she thinks it is a natural progression," said Kirsten after taking over as the coach.
"It is also a great opportunity to be involved in South African cricket and when KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union chief executive officer Heinrich Strydom gave me the call, I thought it was a great chance to stay relevant in the T20 space. For us as a franchise we want to ignite as much interest in the game as possible.
"The priority is obviously to win games, but we want to get people behind the brand and get the spectators to feel that the Durban Heat is their team.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for me to add as much value as I can to the side that we select so that they can reach their potential. I find that every league is different and it's going to be important that we get into a rhythm early." he said.
Kirsten will have under him SA stars David Miller and Keshav Maharaj, who have been retained, by the Heat.
"We took a shot in the dark and I gave Gary a ring and he said yes. To have his knowledge and his skills on board is incredible and hopefully we will have a good, long relationship going forward," said Strydom.
"As a respected, humble ex-Proteas player there are so many positive things that you can say about him and to have him on board is exactly what the game in South Africa needs.
"We are extremely grateful that Gary has taken this opportunity to lead the Durban Heat," he said.