Gary Kirsten, Jason Gillespie react after being named Pakistan’s coaches

The two are appointed for a two-year time period which will end in 2026

By Web Desk
April 28, 2024
Gary Kirsten (L) and Jason Gillespie. — AFP

South Africa's Gary Kirsten and Australia's Jason Gillespie on Sunday reacted to their appointment as the Pakistan team's white and red-ball coaches, respectively.

The former Proteas batter will be in charge of the side for next year’s ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan, ACC T20 Asia Cup 2025 and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026 in India and Sri Lanka while Gillespie will manage the team in their pursuit of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25.

Talking after their appointment, Kirsten expressed gratitude for being named as Pakistan’s head coach, saying it is a big responsibility and he would be eager to contribute to the team’s success.

“It’s a tremendous honour to be entrusted with the responsibility of coaching the Pakistan men’s national team in white-ball cricket and to rejoin the international cricket arena after some time. I eagerly anticipate this opportunity and aim to contribute positively to the Pakistan men's national team in limited-overs cricket,” Kirsten said as quoted by the PCB.

“My perspective on Pakistan cricket has remained consistent over time. There’s always an inherent expectation for the team to perform at a high level consistently. However, in team sports, maintaining peak performance is not always guaranteed. As a coach, it’s immensely gratifying to assist players in unlocking their full potential. I eagerly anticipate collaborating with the individual players and the team, facilitating their growth and development.

“My primary objective is to ensure the team operates at its optimal level. Success on the field is contingent upon the team performing at its best. Consistency and continuity are values I hold dear. While player form fluctuations are inevitable, maintaining a stable environment is crucial. I am committed to supporting players through their ups and downs, prioritising continuity in selections whenever possible.”

Meanwhile, Gillespie stated that there is so much talent in Pakistan and he is keen on helping the players to grow and develop.

“I am grateful to the PCB for their faith in my abilities and for giving me the honour of coaching one of the most highly-regarded and talented cricket teams in the traditional format of the sport. Leading the Pakistan cricket team is a big achievement for any coach, given its rich legacy and passionate fan base,” Gillespie said in a press release by the PCB.

“I love Test cricket and being able to focus on that is something I like very much. I also love the fact that there is so much talent in Pakistan. I like to think that I can help in some way to grow and develop the players. I want to win Tests — that is why I am taking this role. I love winning and I know we have got the skill to make that happen.

“The ICC World Test Championship is the ultimate in the Test format. I understand this cycle is likely to prove too great a task as we would need to win a lot of matches in a short space of time to have any chance of making the final, but aspiring to be in that final, and to winning it, has to be a medium- to long-term goal for us.

“Within Pakistan, we have a number of high-quality fast bowlers and being able to utilise them will be a key part of any success we enjoy. But we have quality in all departments — pace, spin, batting and keeping. We have all bases covered. It is exciting to know we have that talent and I am looking forward to working with such talented players.

“I understand there will be expectation and that comes with the role. All I can do is to take it in my stride and I would not have taken on the job if I did not think I could deal with it.”