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Kirsten First Choice For Next SA Coach

PTI 28 Jan 2010, 11:52:12 IST

Will Cricket South Africa (CSA) be tempted to carry Gary Kirsten back home to Cape Town if India manage to beat Graeme Smith's men in the upcoming series? 

Going by the buzz in South Africa, Kirsten, the current India coach, seems both the bookies and critics' choice for next SA coach following the sudden departure of Mickey Arthur. 

A leading betting website, bettingpress.com, says Kirsten is the 7/4 favourite to replace Arthur, with Kepler Wessels and Jeremy Snape next best at 3/1. Former SA fast bowler Corrie Van Zyle, who has been installed as interim SA coach for the India series, is 4/1 to take over the role on a permanent basis. 

Bookies, though, are not the only ones banking on Kirsten to make a comeback to South African soil. A leading SA website, Sport24, wonders who will be the best replacement, saying: "Kirsten, inevitably, is among names being bandied about in the immediate wake of Mickey Arthur's sudden departure. He has lingering contractual business with India... (but) the thought of being stationed more regularly beneath the shadow of his beloved Table Mountain and back in the bosom of his young family must be appealing. 

"If there is any chance of his being considered for the coaching post...then the possibility of a series snaffle in India, against Kirsten's own charges, by Van Zyl and company would be an embarrassment!" 

The Indian coach seems the sentimental favourite too. Comments sections on websites are replete with posts like, "How we would love Gary Kirsten to come back".