Senior players unhappy over Kirsten's appointment?

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2007, 14:22 [IST]
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New Delhi: The appointment of former South Africa batsman Gary Kirsten as the new India coach has been delayed, with the cricket board citing minor last-minute glitches Tuesday.

The board, however, denied reports that Kirsten had delayed accepting the job because of resentment among senior players.

"We have received an e-mail from Kirsten. There are some minor issues relating to working arrangements, which will be sorted out in a couple of days," the cricket board's vice-president Rajiv Shukla told AFP.

"He has sought clarification over some issues but these do not relate to the so-called reservation among senior players over his appointment," he said.

Kirsten, 40, was to sign a contract with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday after impressing a selection panel in an interview last week.

But he delayed signing amid media reports that quoted him as saying he wanted to clarify about "unhappiness" among some senior Indian players over his appointment.

"I have heard the rumours about some senior players expressing their concern about my possible appointment and I would prefer to have clarity on that before I commit myself to the job," Kirsten was quoted as saying by a cricket website.

"I'm not sure whether the players do have concerns or not. I only met (skipper) Anil Kumble on my recent trip to Delhi and he was very supportive.

"If there are concerns then I would like to find out whether they are about me as an individual or the process by which I was interviewed and then offered the job," the website quoted him as saying on Monday.

India's daily Mumbai Mirror also quoted unnamed senior India players as saying the current management structure was working well and that Kirsten's appointment was unnecessary. "There is absolutely no need for a coach at this moment," one was quoted as saying.

Kirsten, who quit international cricket in 2004 after scoring 7,289 runs in 101 Tests, said he did not want to rush into signing the deal as it was a very important position in world cricket.

"The decision needs to be made carefully and in conjunction with all the right people, but mostly the players," he said. "You can't coach any team if you don't have the players 'buy in'. I've written to the board to explain my feelings."

India have been without a regular coach since April, when former Australian captain Greg Chappell resigned following nation's shock first-round exit from the World Cup in the Caribbean.

Three men have been in temporary charge since then after South Africa's Graham Ford, who coaches English county team Kent, turned down an offer from the BCCI.

Former all-rounder Ravi Shastri managed the team for the tour of Bangladesh in May and veteran Chandu Borde, 73, took over during the visit to Ireland and England from July to September.

Former Mumbai first-class cricketer Lalchand Rajput then took charge for the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September, which India won, and continued for the home one-dayers against Australia and Pakistan.

India are to leave for Australia later this month to play four Tests and a limited-overs tri-series also featuring Sri Lanka.

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