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Gary Kirsten

The coach of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning Indian team Gary Kirsten being carried on the shoulders of the champion team after India defeated Sri Lanka in the finals to lift the World Cup. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)
The coach of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning Indian team Gary Kirsten being carried on the shoulders of the champion team after India defeated Sri Lanka in the finals to lift the World Cup. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)
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Gary Kirsten, 2011 World Cup-winning Coach, Isn’t Interested In Coaching India At Present

Former South African cricketer Gary Kirsten has said that he isn’t looking at making a comeback as Team India’s coach. Team India’s backroom staff is all set to be revamped after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021 as the contracts of head coach Ravi Shastri and other coaches are set to end. Ravi Shastri and his team’s contracts were extended for two years in 2019 by the Kapil Dev-headed Cricket Advisory Committee.

Apart from a new head coach, India will also have new members in the backroom staff. While there are a number of veteran coaches who would be eager to work with India, one name that could pip everyone in the race is that of South African Gary Kirsten.

Gary Kirsten coached Team India from 2007 to 2011.
Gary Kirsten coached Team India from 2007 to 2011. | Photo Credit: BCCL

Gary Kirsten Isn’t Interested In Coaching India At Present

India’s only 50-over World Cup-winning coach, Gary Kirsten had a stint with Team India between 2007 to 2011. Apart from winning the ICC event, India also climbed to the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for the first time under him. Gary Kirsten was in line to make a comeback in BCCI’s system when he was named as CAC’s first choice for the role of the Indian women’s team’s head coach, in 2018.

Since he was associated with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gary Kirsten couldn’t take up the job. He was also in the race to become the England cricket team’s head coach. But that too didn’t happen. A decade after quitting the coveted post, Gary Kirsten answered the million-dollar question of making a comeback as India’s coach and also spoke about his IPL gigs.

“Not at this stage. I’m involved in a business called CoachED (www.coachedcricket.com) which focuses on providing access to online coaching certification for coaches in academies, schools and associate countries. I’m passionate about coach education and I know, with personal experience, the value of quality coaching for any player. CoachED has afforded me the privileged opportunity to serve the game globally and work with young aspiring coaches,” said Gary Kirsten.

Sachin Tendulkar carried on the shoulders of his teammates after the 2011 World Cup win | AFP
Sachin Tendulkar carried on the shoulders of his teammates after the 2011 World Cup win | AFP

“India has very successfully moved ahead of the game and is using their primary competitive advantage (depth of players) to great benefit across all the formats,” said Gary Kirsten on change of Indian core and changes in fitness levels.

Gary Kirsten has said that he isn’t looking to make a comeback as Team India’s coach. Gary Kirsten was at the helm of affairs when India won 50-over World Cup in 2011. Gary Kirsten has coached Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals in IPL.

Gary Kirsten: Coaching Is Very Different In The IPL

Former India coach Gary Kirsten, who has seen Virat Kohli from close quarters, reckons he has kept growing. Admitting that he has worked with Virat Kohli – the leader – for merely a year, Gary Kirsten believes the Indian captain is doing a fantastic job.

“I have really only done one season with him as captain. He is doing a fantastic job for his country. Like any young captain, with more experience and understanding of what it takes, he has got better and better. The are many fantastic match-winners in the Indian team, currently.” on Virat Kohli as new skipper.

“Coaching is very different in the IPL than in any other environment. I’m really enjoying coaching in T20 cricket which requires a different set of skills compared to working with an international team. I think the most successful IPL coaches have been able to create continuity with their playing squad. The relationship between the coach and the owner and the systems they co-create is vital to sustainable success,” on coaching in IPL.

“I believe too many owners employ new coaches and make big changes to their playing squad in the hope that there will be a quick turnaround of results and then ongoing success. Cricket seldom works likes that, especially with the margins for winning and losing so small in an IPL game,” on IPL.

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo: AFP)

“Coaching has changed significantly, especially in T20 cricket. Coaches are generally doing all the strategic preparation for matches and have close relations with Analysts who assist them with an endless and rich bank of data. Recruitment and match strategy has become as much a part of the skill sets of coaches as player relationships and man-management systems.” on coaching change.

“It’s an exciting time for coaches and I don’t think we are a long way before coaches can communicate with their captains on the field to make real-time strategic decisions,” concludes Gary Kirsten.

Gary Kirsten was the head coach of the MS Dhoni-led Team India in the 2011 World Cup. His guidance and expertise helped the MS Dhoni-led side lift the 2011 WC crown in India.

With the IPL second leg coming up, Gary Kirsten – who has worked briefly with Delhi and Bangalore IPL franchises -reckoned coaching teams in the lucrative league is very different. He admitted that he is enjoying coaching in T20 as it requires a different set of skills compared to working with an international team.

Ashwell Prince squeezes a run off Danish Kaneria © AFP
Ashwell Prince squeezes a run off Danish Kaneria © AFP
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It Was No Dream To Represent South Africa After Being Targeted Racially: Ashwell Prince

Ashwell Prince, a Proteas batsman who scored 3,665 runs at an average of 41.64 in 66 Tests, claimed he had been labelled a “quota player” and was not made to feel welcome in the national team.

CSA has for several years set racial “targets” to ensure diversity in the team and several players said they had to fight accusations that they were selected only because of their colour.

Ashwell Prince at a press conference
Ashwell Prince at a press conference © Getty Images

Ashwell Prince: It Was No Dream To Represent South Africa

Allegations of racial discrimination in South African cricket have been made during a month of hearings, with one star claiming he was blasted as a “quota player” and that representing the national team was “no dream”.

Another cricketer said a modified version of the 1970s pop song “Brown Girl in the Ring” was used to single him out. What Cricket South Africa (CSA) described as a Social Justice and Nation Building project was sparked by current fast bowler Lungi Ngidi’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Lungi Ngidi. Picture: REUTERS
Lungi Ngidi. Picture: REUTERS

Public criticism of Lungi Ngidi’s comments, including from some former players, led to a statement from a group of black former international cricketers that they had suffered discrimination during their careers. An independent ombudsman, advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, has heard testimony from some prominent former players, including Ashwell Prince and Paul Adams.

“You think that you’re playing for your country, that you’re living a dream, but it was no dream,” said Prince, who now coaches the Cape Cobras franchise team.

Ashwell Prince revealed how three fellow national teammates had used the quota issue to insult him during a franchise game the week before he scored a Test century against Australia as an opening batsman, despite not normally batting in that position.

“I raised my bat to my parents, then to my wife on the other side of the stadium and then, lastly and reluctantly, I raised my bat to my teammates,” he said.

“If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have raised my bat to them. We weren’t a team.”

Ashwell Prince said team management including Gary Kirsten as a coach, had rejected a request from another player of colour to discuss South Africa’s history during a team bonding weekend. He said if such discussions had taken place, the Black Lives Matter issue might not have been so controversial.

Paul Adams Had Not Initially Complained But His Wife Pointed Out He Was Racially Being Targeted

Paul Adams, a spin bowler who took 134 wickets in 45 Tests, said he had been called a “brown shirt” in after-match fines meetings when teammates adapted the words of a Boney M song “Brown Girl in the Ring”.

He said he had not initially complained, but his girlfriend, now his wife, had pointed out that he was being racially stereotyped. Several white former players, including current coach Mark Boucher, director of cricket Graeme Smith and recently retired star batsman AB de Villiers, have been mentioned during the hearings. Mark Boucher has stated that he will respond to allegations against him.

South African spinner Paul Adams. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
South African spinner Paul Adams. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Ashwell Prince said he felt unwelcome throughout his nine years in the national team, was labelled a “quota player” by his teammates on several occasions, and experienced racism in the dressing room. He has not been convinced the issues have been resolved to this day.
Ashwell Prince last played for South Africa in 2011 and detailed how the national team had an opportunity in that year to discuss their diverse backgrounds but rejected it, something that he feels has repercussions on the team dynamic today.
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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Ravi Shastri Successful In Ensuring Players Remain In The Right Frame Of Mind, Says Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar said that at the international level, a coach’s job is to ensure that players remain positive in crunch situations which Ravi Shastri has been able to do successfully. India head coach Ravi Shastri has been successful in ensuring that the players remain in the right frame of mind, batting great Sachin Tendulkar has said.

Ravi Shastri has been head coach since July 2017 and under him, India has managed back-to-back wins in the Test series in Australia and advanced to the final of the World Test Championship.

Ravu Shastri has been India's head coach since July 2017.
Ravi Shastri has been India’s head coach since July 2017. (Reuters Photo)

Sachin Tendulkar: Coach’s Job Is To Keep Players In The Right Frame Of Mind

Sachin Tendulkar said that at the international level, a coach’s job is to ensure that players remain positive in crunch situations. Former cricketer and the head coach of India’s men’s team, Ravi Shastri was a member of the 1983 squad which lifted the ODI World Cup for India for the first time ever. The former all-rounder played 80 Tests and 150 ODIs between 1981 and 1992.

“At this level, everyone knows how to defend or drive, bowlers know how to bowl outswingers or inswingers. But to actually keep them in the right frame of my mind is the coach’s job. There is nothing better than having a good atmosphere in the dressing room during critical moments,” Sachin Tendulkar told India Today on eSalaamCricket.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar
Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

Ravi Shastri stands tall among all the head coaches in the longer format. Out of the 46 Tests India played under him, the team won 28. The winning percentage is 60.87. In ODIs, the former right-handed batsman led India in 91 matches out of which it won 57 with a winning percentage of 62.64.

The high point in Ravi Shastri’s coaching career came when India won the first-ever Test series against Australia in Australia. India’s fightback in the 2018-19 Border Gavaskar Trophy is largely credited to Ravi Shastri for filling the young talent with a never-say-die attitude. India had won the four-match Test by 2-1.

In the next Test series in Australia-the 2020/21 series, India won by the same margin despite missing several key players due to injuries.

Sachin Tendulkar: Gary Kirsten Played An Instrumental Role In Helping India Draw With New Zealand In A Test

Sachin Tendulkar gave an example of how former head coach Gary Kirsten played an instrumental role in helping India draw a Test match in New Zealand.

“We were playing against New Zealand in Napier and they had made a big score in the first innings. We also made a big score but theirs was huge and we were made to follow on with almost two days remaining in the Test,” said Tendulkar.

The coach of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning Indian team Gary Kirsten being carried on the shoulders of the champion team after India defeated Sri Lanka in the finals to lift the World Cup. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)
The coach of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning Indian team Gary Kirsten being carried on the shoulders of the champion team after India defeated Sri Lanka in the finals to lift the World Cup. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)

“Gary Kirsten did not get angry at all, he came into the dressing room and told us that this was the time to show what we were made of. Let’s go out and bat for two days. And we batted for two days and drew the Test.

“In those crunch moments, if the coach remains calm, a lot of problems go away and that is what Ravi has been able to do. I would also say you have to be stern with players when needed but how you talk to them at those moments is also very important. And he has been able to do that successfully,” said Tendulkar.

Gary Kirsten, the former South Africa cricketer, was Team India’s coach when the Men In Blue won the 2011 World Cup on April 2. Under MS Dhoni‘s captaincy, India lost just one match in the showpiece event against South Africa. India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final to set up a blockbuster finale with Sri Lanka.

A heroic inning by Gautam Gambhir (97) along with an exceptional knock from MS Dhoni (91*) saved India the blushes and saw the Men in Blue lifted the World Cup trophy after 28 years chasing a stiff target of 275.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP
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Gautam Gambhir Was The Glue That Kept India’s Batting Line-Up Together: Paddy Upton

Paddy Upton, India’s Mental Conditioning and Strategic Leadership Coach in 2011, remembered the contribution of Gautam Gambhir in the final as he called him ‘the glue that kept the great batting line-up of that era together.’

The Indian cricket team last lifted a Cricket World Cup in 2011. There were euphoric scenes at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai as MS Dhoni-led Team India lifted the World Cup after 28 years of wait.

Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton
Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton Arjun Singh /SPORTZPICS

Gary Kirsten Used To Call Gautam Gambhir The Rock: Paddy Upton

India chased down Sri Lanka’s target of 274 runs in the 49th over to be crowned world champions. India stuttered at the start but managed to get to the target due to the brilliance of Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni. India lost the wickets of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar early in their run-chase and it transferred the pressure on the remaining batsmen.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir Lakruuwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

But Gautam Gambhir stuck around to deliver a career-defining knock of 97 to take India close to the target.

“There was that additional pressure and disappointment of having Sehwag and Tendulkar back in the change room. But the reality was, you had two of the best high-pressure players in the team – one of them at the crease – Gautam Gambhir. Gary Kirsten used to call him the rock. He spent most of his career as Sehwag’s sidekick,” Paddy Upton told cricket.com.

Skipper MS Dhoni promoting himself over Yuvraj Singh at a crucial stage of the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka is one of the most intriguing and talked-about subjects in Indian cricket.

Yuvraj Singh had been in great form throughout the tournament, with both bat and ball, but according to Paddy Upton the reasons were both cricketing and the captain’s determination to rise to the big occasion to leave his own indelible mark on the tournament. MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 91 off 79 balls, and the soaring six over long-on off Nuwan Kulasekara that sealed glory, is one of the most memorable images in Indian cricket.

Paddy Upton: Gautam Gambhir Was The Glue That Kept The Great Batting Line-up Of That Era Together

Over the course of the World Cup, the left-handed Yuvraj Singh contributed 362 runs, 15 wickets, four Man of the Match awards, culminating in the Player of the Tournament honour. MS Dhoni’s highest score going into the final was 34 against Ireland.

“Sehwag would be the guy who used to be on the highlights package and play the flamboyant cricket and get the crowd cheering. Gambhir would just squirt the ball with that square drive behind backward point. He wouldn’t get the crowd going and he wouldn’t make it to the highlights package, but Gambhir was the glue that kept the great batting line-up of that era together,” Paddy Upton added.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“Although he had not delivered with the bat for seven games until then, MS Dhoni was at that time, probably still is, the best in the world when it comes to second innings chase in white-ball cricket. So, we really did have, in truth, our two biggest guns or two biggest bullets still in the chamber.”

The former India opener, who has scored more than 10,000 international runs in 242 games across formats, batted at No. 3 mostly in the 2011 World Cup. The 11 who featured in that final never played together again. That should definitely trigger some nostalgia. For Gautam Gambhir, however, it is more of an unanswered question.
Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: Twitter.
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BCCI Selectors Should Have Included Rohit Sharma For Australia Tour: Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag, former Indian dashing opener believes that BCCI should have included hitman Rohit Sharma in the Australian squad. If they were concerned about his injury, they should have sent a replacement alongside him. Rohit Sharma missed 4 games for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020 owing to a hamstring injury. Still, he regained his fitness and has played two games for MI now against SunRisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals.

This has led to confusion among fans and experts regarding the reasons behind his non-inclusion in the India squad for Australia. Virender Sehwag recalled an incident before the 2011 World Cup to explain his point when he required shoulder surgery which would have meant him missing the World Cup. Virender Sehwag recalled that the BCCI officials insisted on delaying the surgery for his inclusion in World Cup as he was rehabilitating and taking injections.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Google)

Virender Sehwag Cites Example From His Career When His Surgery Was Delayed For His Inclusion In 2011 World Cup Squad

Virender Sehwag cites an example from his career when his surgery was delayed as the then coach Gary Kirsten advised him not to do surgery as the team wanted him for 2011 World Cup and instead, he was doing rehabilitation.

“If a statement has gone from MI physio that we are not sure how long would it take for Rohit Sharma to get fit, and the team has been created keeping this statement in mind, then even I have nothing to say. You get an idea if you are a top player,” Virender Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.

“Let me give an example from my career. Before the 2011 World Cup, I was having problems with my shoulder. When I got scanned, so there was a tear in my bicep tendon, and I needed to get a surgery done.”

Gary Kirsten
Gary Kirsten. Photo Credit: BCCI.

“I could not have gone without doing that. So I told the BCCI and Gary Kirsten to convey that I need to get a surgery. This happened in December 2010. They should take a call if they want to include me in the World Cup squad or not, because if I get a surgery done in December, I will not be ready for the World Cup.

“The call was in Kirsten and BCCI’s hands and they said that ‘no, you get the surgery after World Cup, we will play you till then’. So I played Test cricket, but did not play ODIs before World Cup. Because I wanted to avoid getting more injuries. I kept doing rehab in the interim and also went to Germany to get injections. Everyone knew about this,” Sehwag further said.

In fact, India lifted the 2011 World Cup under MS Dhoni, and Virender Sehwag was a key member in the World Cup which India won after a hiatus of 28 years. Virender Sehwag scored 175 in the first match against Bangladesh off 140 balls including 14 boundaries and 5 sixes. Virender Sehwag scored 380 runs in 8 matches averaging 47.5.

Virender Sehwag: Rohit Sharma Should Have Been Selected As A Replacement Or A Replacement Should Have Been Sent Alongside Him

Rohit Sharma wasn’t considered for selection in any of the three formats- ODIs, T20Is and Tests as the squads for all the three formats were named. But he played in the last league match and Qualifier 1 for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020 but didn’t contribute much.

“So, similarly, everyone might be knowing about Rohit Sharma’s problems – the selectors, the physio, coaches. Still, he could have been selected for the Australia tour. If he doesn’t get fit, then we will send in this player as a replacement or will send a replacement alongside him keeping the biosecure bubble in mind,” Sehwag said.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: IPL)

“Then we would not be having this discussion. So I don’t understand why he was kept out of the squad. If he is fit, and he plays the final, will the selectors have a similar stance? Then you are not keeping a good India batsman in the team – for what reason, no one knows,” the former India opener signed off.

India are to play three ODIs and as many T20Is besides four Tests for the tour Down Under which commences November end. KL Rahul returned to the Test fold while Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini were named in Test squad while Rishabh Pant was omitted from the white ball squad. Sanju Samson and uncapped Varun Chakravarthy were included in the T20I squad.

Shoaib Akhtar Bets Misbah-ul-Haq Will Be Replaced With Andy Flower As Next Head Coach Of Pakistan
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Don’t Hit Us, We Have Families: Shoaib Akhtar Recalls Indian Tailenders Pleaded For Mercy

Shoaib Akhtar was among one of the fastest bowlers that the cricket world has ever witnessed. The batsman indeed used to fear his bouncers and sheer pace. The former Pakistan cricketer also holds the record of bowling the fastest delivery at the speed of 161.3 km/h during the World Cup 2003 against England. 

During the recent conversation with Pakistani presenter Sawera Pasha on her Youtube show– ‘Cric Cast’, Shoaib Akhtar named the batsmen whom he had hurt with his bowling. Then former bowler revealed the story that he had warned Gary Kirsten to not try to hit pull shot against him. But the batsman didn’t listen and got hit by the pacer’s bouncer. 

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“I had told Gary not to attempt the pull against me. I kept telling him don’t try it against the world’s fastest bowler. But he didn’t listen and was hit really hard. Whenever he meets me he points towards his eye,” he said.

Further, Shoaib Akhtar was asked whether any batsmen had told him to get them out but not hit them. To this, the veteran said that the Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan had told so. He added that some Indian tailenders had also told him to show mercy because they have family behind them. 

“There were many who told me not to hit them. Muralitharan was one. Many Indian tailenders would tell me ‘don’t hit us, we have families’. Muralitharan would ask me to bowl slow, and he would get out,” he added. 

Shoaib Akhtar recalls an incident with Muttiah Muralitharan:

Muttiah Muralitharan, shoaib akhtar
Muttiah Muralitharan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Shoaib Akhtar recalled that the former captain Mohammad Yousuf had told him to break Murali’s finger because he could not play his spin. So, the speedster bowled some bouncer after which the Sri Lankan spinner pleaded for his life. 

“Yousuf would ask me to hit him. He would say ‘break his fingers I can’t play his spin’. I bowled Muralitharan a few bouncers but he said ‘don’t do this to me I will die if the ball hits me’, the former paceman Shoaib Akhtar said with a smile on his face.

Shoaib Akhtar has represented Pakistan in 163 ODIs, 15 T20Is and 46 Test matches, picking 6169, 19 and 178 wickets respectively. 

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Gary Kirsten Thanked MS Dhoni For All Good Memories Including 2011 World Cup Win

Gary Kirsten, who was the coach of India from 2008 and under whom India lifted the 2011 World Cup following a hiatus of 28 years, said that it was a privilege to work with one of the best leaders, besides thanking him for providing him with many fond memories. He left coaching India after India’s win in 2011.

Under his able coaching and guidance, India won the Asia Cup in 2010 and then ended their 28-year wait to win the 50-over World Cup for the second time in 2011.

Kirsten also revisited a past statement which emphasized their bond and stressed on the strong relationship which they shared while he coached India between 2008 and 2011.

The 52-year-old former coach thanked MS Dhoni for all the good memories that he made remembering during the former’s tenure.

MS Dhoni and Gary Kirsten
MS Dhoni and Gary Kirsten

Gary Kirsten Says That It Was A Privilege To Work With MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni is the only captain in the cricket history to win all three premier ICC events-2007 T20I World Cup, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy.

MS Dhoni, apart from the three premier titles, has also won the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups and it was during his tenure that India were ranked no.1 in tests. His retirement triggered a number of tributes with both former and current cricketers praising him for his role as a finisher, his unorthodox captaincy and skills behind the wicket.

Gary Kirsten
Former Indian and South African coach, Gary Kirsten. (Image Credit: AFP)

Gary Kirsten, who played for South Africa from 1993 to 2004. He featured in 101 Tests and 185 ODIs where he averaged more than 40. He was appointed coach and was awarded a two-year contract and he officially took charge on 1st of March 2008 and the then captain MS Dhoni described him as the best thing to happen to Indian cricket prior to the start of South African tour in 2010.

Gary Kirsten Want To Go To War With MS Dhoni In His Side

Gary Kirsten built a strong relationship with MS Dhoni during his tenure as Indian coach and revisited a statement that read: “I would go to war with Dhoni by my side.”

MS Dhoni Lieutenant

MS Dhoni Lieutenant Photo Credit: Twitter.MS Dhoni’s retirement saw an avalanche of emotional tributes penned by former and current cricketers. But, it is not known to many that the Indian Territorial Army has conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to MS Dhoni and is the 2nd Indian after Kapil Dev to receive the honour.

It becomes pertinent that in August 2019, Dhoni had completed a two-week stint with the Territorial Army in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shoaib Akhtar, akhtar, pakistan cricket team, pakistan national cricket team, mohammad yousuf,
Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credit: Google)
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Shoaib Akhtar Says Indian Tailenders Requested Him To Dismiss Them Rather Hurting

Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan speedster, popularly known as ‘Rawalpindi Express’ has mentioned that Indian bowlers who batted lower down the order requested him to dismiss them rather getting hurt by facing his bouncers or beamers apart from revealing that teammate Mohammad Yousuf wanted him to break Muttiah Muralitharan’s fingers and mentioning that Matthew Maynard was the batsman to suffer the most grievous injury off his bowling.

Muttiah Muralitharan who has 800 wickets in Tests and is the leading wicket-taker in Tests also requested Shoaib Akhtar not to hurl quick deliveries at him. Shoaib Akhtar, who played for Worcester in England’s county cricket hit Glamorgan’s Matthew Maynard on his lower jaw as the batsman fell on his stumps. Right away, Shoaib Akhtar was worried whether the injury was a fatal one.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Shoaib Akhtar Feared Whether Glamorgan’s Matthew Maynard Die From Injury

Shoaib Akhtar talked about his cricketing career during an interaction with Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show Cric Cast where he mentioned that he injured a lot of players while playing for Worcester, but Matthew Maynard suffered the most and Shoaib Akhtar feared whether he would die from injury.

“In county cricket while I was playing for Worcester, a lot of players got him by my ball when I thought Oh God I have done something wrong. But I don’t know why I was so mean.

“There was one occasion when Matthew Maynard, a batsman playing for Glamorgan, I told him that let’s go out as it was getting darker since it was not comfortable to face my pace. But he told that he will face me.

“So, I went round the wicket and bowled him a quick bouncer and the situation was little dull, that hit him on the jaw and he fell on the wickets. I felt that he might die, he was flattened on the ground, he was in a lot of pain. He fell on the wicket and was out as well,” Akhtar said.

Matthew Maynard played in 4 tests and 14 one-dayers where he failed miserably with the bat although scoring more than 24,799 runs in 395 first-class matches at an average of 42.53 besides 59 centuries. Matthew Maynard played for Glamorgan from 1985 to 2005.

Shoaib Akhtar also regretted when people were hit by his beamer or bouncer. Shoaib Akhtar terrorized batsmen across the world and is believed to get most batsmen retired hurt off his bowling.

“I felt bad but every time I used to hit people, I used to feel that this shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

The 45-year-old also referred an occasion where he hit Gary Kirsten below eye despite warning him not to attempt playing a hook shot off his bowling.

Gary Kirsten
Gary Kirsten Showing Injury. Image Credits: Twitter

“I had warned Gary Kirsten as well, asking him not to hook me. I told him not to do it as a 36-year-old to the fastest bowler. He also got hit very hard. Whenever he meets me, he shows the mark under his eyes as a souvenir from my side,” Akhtar remarked.

Gary Kirsten was the first to notice Shoaib Akhtar during a 1994/1995 series at nets but Shoaib Akhtar arrived on the international scene only in 1997.

Shoaib Akhtar: Muttiah Muralitharan Moved Away From Stumps

Shoaib Akhtar responded when asked if any batsmen asked him to bowl gently and named Muttiah Muralitharan and Indian tail-enders amongst the feared ones.

“There were lot of batsmen like that. Muralitharan was there, lot of players from India, all tail-enders. They used to ask me to get them out but not hit them as it would hit them hard. They used to say that they have wife and kids and that their parents wouldn’t like it.”

Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, an off-spinner asked him to bowl slowly and even moved away from stumps to get out bowled.

“Muralitharan used to tell me to bowl slowly and he would move away from the stumps. He used to get out very easily.”

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Mohammad Yousuf, however, advised Shoaib Akhtar to break Muttiah Muralitharan’s fingers as he faced difficulty in judging the spin wizard’s ball.

“Yousuf used to ask me to hit him, to break his fingers as he couldn’t play him. I had bowled a couple of bouncers to Murali and he told me not to do it else he will die. He told that he was very fragile. So I used to feel shy but Yousuf wanted me to hit him,” he stated.

Shoaib Akhtar is the first bowler to record a top speed of 100 miles per hour and represented Pakistan from 1997 to 2011 claiming 178 wickets of 46 tests and 247 wickets in 163 one-dayers averaging less than 26.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credit: Getty Images)
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Shoaib Akhtar Bamboozled Gary Kirsten As A Net Bowler During 1994/1995 Series

Shoaib Akhtar bamboozled former Indian coach South African Gary Kirsten as a net bowler who was so impressed by the pace of the 18-year-old that he even agreed to talk to Pakistan’s team management for his inclusion. The incident happened during one of the games in the 1994/1995 Wills Triangular Series played between Pakistan, South Africa and Australia.

Shoaib Akhtar made a career and terrorized batsmen across the world, but it turns out that even before he made his debut for Pakistan, the Rawalpindi Express left an impact on the South African national cricket team during their tour of Pakistan in the early 1990s.

But it was another three or four years before he debuted for Pakistan. Shoaib Akhtar played for the national side from 1997 to 2011 and represented Pakistan in 46 tests,163 one-dayers and 15 T20 Internationals.

The later format was played by him from 2006 to 2010 and in 15 T20Is he picked up 19 wickets. He also picked up 178 test and 247 one day wickets at healthy averages below 26 in all three formats.

Shoaib Akhtar, Youtubers, Cricketers, Fab Four
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Shoaib Akhtar Recalls When He Was Net Bowler Against South Africa As 18 Year Old

The 1994/95 Wills Triangular Series was played between South Africa, Pakistan and Australia and ahead of one of the games, Akhtar recalled how he as an 18-year-old served as one of the net bowlers for the Proteas and immediately left an impression on their players.

“I became a net bowler for the South Africans. So, the South Africans came up to me, I remember very clearly, there is one gentleman called Gary Kirsten, and Jonty Rhodes,” Akhtar said on the Test Match Special podcast. “They said, ‘Would you like to be a good net fast bowler against us?’ I said, ‘Yes sir, I can do that for you [and] very soon, you’ll remember me, that I’ll be playing against you guys.’ They said, ‘So, how’s that?’ And I just asked them to face me.”

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. Image Credit: Getty Images.

South African batsman Gary Kirsten played 101 Tests and 185 ODIs in which he scored over 6000 runs besides coaching India from 2008 to 2011. It was during his tenure that India won the world cup for the second time in 2011 after a long hiatus of 28 years. After the World Cup victory, Gary Kirsten also quit as Indian coach and instead took up coaching for South Africa.

Jonty Rhodes also played for South Africa and was known for his acrobatic fielding, representing them in 52 tests and 245 one-dayers.

Shoaib Akhtar Should Have Been In Team As 18 Year Old

One session of pace bowling by Shoaib convinced his potential, but he lost his peak as he was introduced only four years later in 1997 in Tests and 1998 in one-dayers.

“I then bowled a couple of balls at Gary Kirsten and he said, ‘Oh my Lord, you should have been in the team rather than in the nets.’ I asked if I’m capable enough to be a great fast bowler,” Akhtar added. “He said, ‘You must be kidding me. I am going to vouch for you in the Pakistan dressing room that you should play.’ And Pakistan, what they did is play me four years later. So, I lost my peak there.”

Gary Kirsten, The Hundred
Image: Getty

In his 14 year career, Shoaib Akhtar was recognized as the fastest bowler ever in history as he delivered world record speed of 100 miles per hour in a pool one day match against England in 2003 World Cup. He was the first bowler to break the 100 mph barrier and was fondly known as Rawalpindi Express as a tribute to his hometown and pace respectively.

gary kirsten, RCB, IPL, Team India
Former Indian and South African coach, Gary Kirsten. (Image Credit: AFP)
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Gary Kirsten Opines Why Is Coaching Challenging In IPL Than National Team

Gary Kirsten has the experience of coaching in both IPL and Team India. He has enjoyed more success as a national coach than being any franchise coach. Under his guidance, the MS Dhoni-led side won the World Cup in 2011 after the wait of 28 years. Kirsten has opined what is the difference between coaching at the national level and franchise league.

Kirsten retired from India’s head coach position after leading them to the World Cup victory. He has taken up several roles of coaching at various levels, including IPL. Unfortunately, he didn’t end up being a successful coach in the cash-rich league. He was the coach of the Delhi Capitals but was sacked from the position before his contract would end. 

In 2018, he joined RCB but the franchise had an awful campaign. Subsequently, he was removed from the post. In the recent interaction, Kristen has opened up what challenges he faced which made his coaching tough in IPL.

Difference between Coaching IPL franchise and National Team: Gary Kirsten

Gary Kirsten,
Gary Kirsten. Image: Getty

Gary Kirsten said that time is the biggest difference in coaching an international team and an IPL side. As per him, it is a challenging job because it is tough to build a team with diverse players.

“Time, biggest difference (between coaching an international team and an IPL franchise). It’s very difficult to build an identity with a team, with a diverse group of players, and to build something that can transcend time,” Kirsten was quoted as saying while speaking on the RK show.

Where RCB has failed?

Gary Kirtsen | Royal Challengers Bangalore | IPL 2019 |
Gary Kirsten. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Citing the example of Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kirsten said that the franchise can only become successful if they make optimum utilisation of time. He also said that RCB lacks to build the same culture which ends to be a failure in management. 

“If you take the most successful franchises, what they have done well, the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings, they have been able to build time into their program,” Kirsten stated.

“So, from one IPL season to the next, the same philosophies, the same cultures apply. So, to shift a culture like RCB, which I think does require a culture shift, it takes time. The bottom line is that your job is on the line from game one. So, when there’s pressure on performance, you start to crisis-manage and then you are gone,” he added.

MI is the most successful team, having four titles and last being won in 2019. CSK is behind MI in the title race, winning three IPL seasons. On the other hand, RCB is yet to grab their hand on the trophy. 

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