Former South African cricketer Gary Kirsten, who coached the MS Dhoni-led Indian team to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, recently praised Dhoni for his loyalty to everyone.
Gary Kirsten officially joined the Indian team as a Head Coach in March 2008 and he continued that role till India’s victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. During his coaching tenure, MS Dhoni captained the Indian team for most of the times (Anil Kumble was the Test captain only in early period).
Recently, Kirsten shared his experience with Dhoni. The former South African cricketer claimed that Dhoni was one of the most impressive people he met. Apart from his leadership quality, Kirsten majorly likes Dhoni for his loyalty.
Kirsten said about Dhoni on The RK Show on YouTube, “One of the most impressive people I have met, he is a great leader of people, he’s got incredible presence as a leader, but the most important thing is that he is loyal.”
Talking about that, the former Indian coach revealed one story about the former Indian captain. Just before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Dhoni decided not to attend an event due to there was no process to allow the foreigners while three foreigners were the coaching team members of the Indian team. While Kirsten was the Head Coach, Eric Simmons was the bowling consultant and Paddy Upton was the Mental Conditioning and Strategic Leadership Coach, and all of them were South Africans.
Kirsten said, “I’ll never forget, just before the World Cup, we were invited in Bangalore to go to the flight school, to go and kind of have a look at that. Obviously, we had a couple of foreigners in our support staff, and we got word back on the morning before the whole team was meant to go – and everyone was looking forward to the event – that the three South Africans, which were myself, Paddy Upton and Eric Simmons, weren’t going to be allowed into the flight school because it was seen as a potential security risk.
“So MS cancelled the whole event. He just said, ‘These are my people. If they’re not allowed in, none of us are going’. And that was what he was about.”
I think we built a strong relationship in the three years we had together: Gary Kirsten about MS Dhoni
Gary Kirsten further added that Dhoni was very loyal to him in every situation, including the tough moments, which helped to build a strong relationship between them that worked for the Indian team very well.
Kirsten claimed, “He was very loyal, to me, and I think he saw as well, there were times when we didn’t always win games and we’d have some tough times. We’d spend a lot of time, just one on one together, talking through, taking the team forward. I think we built a strong relationship in the three years we had together.”