Former South Africa opener Gary Kirsten has been tasked with turning around the fortunes of KFC Big Bash League battlers Hobart Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes confirmed today that Kirsten has taken up a two-year deal to coach the club, who were on the hunt for a new head coach after parting ways with Damien Wright following a disappointing BBL|06 campaign.
Tigers greats Ricky Ponting and David Boon were part of a Cricket Tasmania panel that made the call to hire the World Cup-winning coach, with Hurricanes general manager Bill Avery saying they’d been impressed by his vision for the club.
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"Gary has a contemporary approach to T20 coaching and is looking forward to creating a vibrant and strong environment for players to succeed,” Avery said in a Hurricanes statement.
"We are striving for the Hurricanes to be a BBL club of choice for local and international T20 players – and Gary shares this vision.”
Kirsten had a decorated playing career with the Proteas, and is their fifth-highest Test run-scorer with more than 7000 runs at 45.27 from 101 games.
The left-hander moved into coaching after his 101-Test, 185-ODI playing career and was appointed to the head job with India in 2007.
He took them to the No.1 in the ICC’s Test rankings and capped his stint by leading them to the 2011 World Cup title.
Kirsten then returned to coach his native South Africa for two years, also leading them to the No.1 Test ranking.
He spent two seasons at the helm of Indian Premier League outfit Delhi Daredevils between 2013 and 2015.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed watching BBL over the past few years and I'm really looking forward to this coaching opportunity with the Hurricanes,” said Kirsten, who reside in Cape Town but will relocate to Hobart for the BBL period each season.
“My vision is to help the Hurricanes become the club of choice for all aspiring BBL players.
“I would also like to help create an environment which enables a positive and entertaining brand of T20 cricket and to help deliver consistent success to the club.”
The Hurricanes have been absent from the finals for the past three BBL seasons and finished seventh with a 3-5 win-loss record last summer.
Cricket Tasmania are also on the lookout for a new coach for their state side after Dan Marsh was sacked in February.
Former Australia batsman Mike Hussey was appointed to lead an Independent Review into the state's Male Pathway and High Performance programs last month.
The Tigers finished the Sheffield Shield season in last position, and failed to make the finals of the Matador One-Day Cup last October.