GR Sports Desk | New Delhi
2011 World Cup-winning former Indian coach Gary Kirsten is in the race to become head coach of Indian women’s cricket team, media reports suggested Saturday. Kirsten has reportedly applied for the position after BCCI sought applications since former interim coach Ramesh Pawar’s contract with the Women in Blue expired following India’s semi-final defeat to England in the 2018 Women’s World T20 in the West Indies.
The former Proteas opener was at the helm of the Men in Blue on the capacity of head coach for three years- 2008 to 2011. Following India’s World Cup clinch at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011, Kirsten didn’t extend his association with BCCI. Later, he worked with South Africa
Now, he is the head coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). In the wake of Kirsten’s application RCB fell in doldrums all of a sudden. If he is picked by the Indian cricket board, he would not be in a position to coach RCB in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) due to BCCI’s Conflict of Interest rule. Meanwhile, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, under whom the Black Caps played their maiden World Cup final against Australia in 2015, is also interested. However, it is still not clear whether he has applied for the position yet or not.
Pawar’s short regime ended on November 30 under controversial circumstances. The former Indian spinner has also reapplied for the position with a wish to get the second term since he has an enviable track record with the women’s team. However, his chances of getting a fresh term would be very less since BCCI has made it clear that it would go for a new coach.
Former India cricketer Manoj Prabhakar, Herschelle Gibbs, Kirsten’s former teammate, and former England all-rounder Dmitri Mascarenhas have also reportedly applied for the coveted job so far.
On Tuesday, the BCCI constituted an ad-hoc committee to conduct the interviews of shortlisted candidates. The panel is comprised of 1983 World Cup winning Indian captain Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy. The interview is scheduled to happen on December 20 at BCCI headquarter at Wankhede stadium. It would not be an easy task for the board panel to find out the right candidate out of many.
Though, BCCI was slightly interested to offer Pawar a full-term with the women’s team the controversy surrounding former captain Mithali Raj and Pawar put the latter’s chance of winning the new tenure under the scanner.
Raj, India’s senior-most batsman and the highest run-getter, accused Pawar of humiliating and ignoring her before announcing Indian XI for the WT20 semifinals without informing her. India suffered a heartbreaking defeat to England on the following day at Bridgetown, Barbados. Earlier, Indian T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and BCCI Committee of Administrations (CoA) member Diana Edulji were interested to give Pawar an extension. But, CoA chief Vinod Rai ruled out the possibility.