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BCCI is to act at the right time
- The Gary Kirsten issue
Gary Kirsten

Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will, at the “appropriate time,” open a dialogue with Gary Kirsten, whose contract as coach is till the 2011 World Cup.

“We’re not going to rush into anything... Whether Kirsten continues or not, is not an issue today... He’s on a contract till the (February-April) World Cup and we will take it up at the appropriate time,” the BCCI president, Shashank Manohar, told The Telegraph.

Speaking from Nagpur on Friday, the day after a report in South Africa indicated that the Proteas would be wooing Kirsten, who is one of their own, Manohar added: “There’s no need for us to jump up and down on the basis of media reports... Obviously, we are going to address the issue closer to the end of Kirsten’s contract.”

Kirsten, Greg Chappell’s full-time successor, will be completing three years as coach in March. Initially taken on board for 24 months, his contract was extended by a year seven months ago.

For family reasons, the 42-year-old Kirsten has made it clear he wouldn’t be game for a further extension. But that was earlier in the year and, who knows, a far better deal (not just financially) may actually make him reconsider.

Much, clearly, is going to depend on India’s performance in the World Cup. It wouldn’t really be fair to judge an individual on the basis of one tournament/ series, but the BCCI had the quadrennial World Cup in mind when it signed on Kirsten.

Where results go, at the top of the Kirsten-list is helping India become No.1 in Test cricket. His biggest achievement, though, has been off the field: Allowing some of the sport’s biggest names enough space to be in their own zone, yet bonding in the manner of good teams.

It’s unusual for Kirsten to be caught in a winning-frame, for he believes that the players alone deserve kudos and he shouldn’t be seen as trying to take even a part of the credit.

The story, however, doesn’t end there — the Sachin Tendulkars want the kudos going his way, too.

It’s a massive change from the Chappell years.

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