South Africa Cricket Coach Gary Kirsten Won’t Renew Contract

South Africa cricket coach Gary Kirsten won’t renew his contract in order to spend more time with his family.

Kirsten, 45, was appointed for two years in August 2011, with an option to renew for another two years. He had to inform Cricket South Africa by April 30 whether he wanted to exercise the option.

“Gary has a young family and it is understandable that he wishes to spend more time at home,” CSA President Chris Nenzani said in a statement. “I would like to thank him for his tremendous contribution to the well-being of the Proteas over the past two years.”

The ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales next month will be Kirsten’s final tournament in charge.

“I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for the confidence they showed in entrusting me with the fortunes of the national team,” Kirsten said. “It has been a huge privilege to represent my country as player and coach and to have been given the responsibility of growing the team.”

South Africa moved to the top of the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings last August with a 2-0 series win over then-No. 1 England.

The Proteas also topped the one-day and Twenty20 rankings at one point last year, becoming the first team to hold the No. 1 spot in all three formats of the game at the same time. They currently rank fourth in ODI and sixth in Twenty20.

With the Proteas set to tour Sri Lanka and July and August and then host India and Australia next season, Nenzani said “it is important that we move quickly to identify” Kirsten’s successor.

“Gary certainly leaves the Proteas in good health and, although we are disappointed to lose him as head coach, he has put the foundations in place to carry us forward,” he said.

Kirsten coached India to the World Cup title on home soil in 2011 before taking over South Africa. He scored 7,289 runs in 101 Test matches as an opening batsman for the Proteas, and also scored 6,789 runs in 185 one-day matches.

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