India coach Gary Kirsten plans to step down from his post following the World Cup 2011 which ends in April, and considering he doesn't intend to take up another coaching job in South Africa, his calender could be clear for a stint with the IPL.
"Indian cricket had hoped to persuade Kirsten to change his mind about not renewing his contract, but gave up on it this week. Future options for Kirsten could involve the Indian Premier League," a report in a leading newspaper said.
According to the report, Kirsten's close rapport with Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar could open the way for the former to be appointed in a top position in Mumbai Indians. As coincidence has it, the IPL team is to choose a director of coaching before the IPL 4.
"The close relationship that Kirsten has with Sachin Tendulkar may lead to co-operation between the two at the Mumbai Indians, who are expected to appoint a director of coaching before the next IPL season," it said. "Kirsten could easily take up such a position while still developing his international academy that is in the planning stage at Claremont Cricket Club in Cape Town."
Kirsten, who will quit as India's coach after the World Cup ends in April, is not keen to take up the Proteas job when caretaker Corrie van Zyl steps down, also in April.
The report also said current India bowling coach Eric Simons could not be ruled out as a possible candidate to replace Kirsten.
Meanwhile, the South African coaching job is likely to go to Duncan Fletcher. The former England coach has been advising the South Africans and it is understood he would be available.