South Africa appoint Gary Kirsten as their new coach

New South Africa coach Gary Kirsten
Kirsten played more than 100 Tests during an illustrious career

South Africa have appointed Gary Kirsten as their new coach on a two-year contract.

The 43-year-old, who led India to World Cup victory in April, will take over in August ahead of the two home series against Australia and Sri Lanka.

Kirsten, who played 101 Tests and 185 one-day internationals for South Africa, has called it a "major honour".

His successful three-year spell with India ended in April when he turned down an extension to his contract.

Kirsten, who takes over from Corrie van Zyl, added: "Having filled the same position with the Indian national team for the past three years I believe this is a natural progression as far as my coaching career is concerned.

"My coaching philosophy will not be any different than it was for India. I always endeavour to influence players in a positive way and give them options so that they can grow both as cricketers and as people."

Kirsten enjoyed an illustrious career as an opening batsman for South Africa, becoming the first man to reach 100 Test caps, 7,000 Test runs and 20 Test centuries for his country, whom he captained against Pakistan in 1998.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola revealed his delight at welcoming Kirsten back.

"We are delighted to have Gary back as part of the CSA family," said Majola. "We have been through an exhaustive but rewarding process to find the best possible candidate for the job and we are totally confident that we have done just that.

"Gary's credentials and cricketing experiences speak for themselves and the board of CSA is confident that he will lead the Proteas to new heights."

Kirsten has already made his first appointment, announcing batsman AB de Villiers as limited-over captain.

Graeme Smith, who had announced that he would stand down as skipper for Twenty20 and one-day internationals before South Africa's quarter-final exit at the World Cup earlier this year, will remain as Test captain.

"I'm very excited but I'm also inexperienced. But I've learnt a lot the last seven years from an unbelievable captain," said De Villiers.

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