Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2013 Contents Sergio Garcia of Spain hits from the first fairway during the
second round of The Players championship tournament at TPC
Sawgrass, yesterday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. AP PHOTO
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 11, 2013
JOHANNESBURG---Gary Kirsten has
decided not to renew his contract as
coach of South Africa and will leave
his role at the end of July.
In a surprise announcement, Cricket
South Africa said yesterday that
Kirsten opted not to stay longer than
the initial two-year deal he agreed to
in August 2011.
Kirsten cited "family reasons" for
the decision. He had been required to
state his intentions with regard to his
future before April 30, the national
"I have every confidence that the
Proteas will continue to go from
strength to strength," Kirsten said.
CSA said it was disappointed and
its board accepted Kirsten's decision
Kirsten, the former South Africa
opening batsman and World Cup-
winning coach with India, has a young
family and has often taken time out
from his cricket duties with the Proteas
to be with his wife and children. He
coached India to the World Cup title
in 2011 before returning to his home-
land, and said then the desire to spend
more time with his family was behind
his decision to leave India.
"I would like to thank Cricket South
Africa for the confidence they showed
in entrusting me with the fortunes of
the national team," he said. "It has
been a huge privilege to represent my
country as player and coach and to
have been given the responsibility of
growing the team.
"I would particularly like to thank
Cricket South Africa for allowing me
the flexibility to combine my coaching
job with my family life during my
The national body would have des-
perately wanted Kirsten to stay beyond
his initial contract after he led the
Proteas to the top of the test rankings
with a series victory in England last
year and followed that up by winning
in Australia and then whitewashing
Pakistan at home.
Kirsten's unexpected decision also
gives South Africa little time to appoint
a successor before away series against
Sri Lanka in July and August and Pak-
istan in November. The Proteas then
host Australia and India at the end of
this year and beginning of 2014.
Kirsten's last mission will likely be
the Champions Trophy in England
and Wales next month, when South
Africa will search for a long-awaited
one-day title to end a long run of fail-
ures in limited-overs tournaments.
"It is important that we move quick-
ly to identify his successor," CSA pres-
ident Chris Nenzani said, paying trib-
ute to the "standard of excellence"
brought to South Africa's team by
Nenzani said CSA would like to keep
Kirsten involved with the national
team in some way as "his experience
as player, coach and mentor is not
something we want to lose in its
Zimbabwe's last Twenty20 experi-
ence at home is a cheery one. In the
final of an unofficial three-nation
tournament last year, they crushed a
South Africa XI by nine wickets. There
were several heroes that day for the
home side, and as they play their first
home T20 international in 18 months,
the spirits would still remain high.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, are at the
opposite end of the cheery scale.
Zimbabwe have just clinched the
three-match ODI series after coming
back from a game down. They have a
few more players who have stood up
when the chips were down. The Taylors
and Masakadzas took a backseat as
Vusi Sibanda, Sean Williams and Tendai
Chatara grabbed their opportunities to
turn in match-winning performances.
Zimbabwe would still rely on a strong
bowling performance to pull them
through, like in the last two ODIs.
Chatara complemented Kyle Jarvis and
Brian Vitori quite well, using his accu-
racy and bounce to surprise the vis-
"It is a format we haven't played a
lot of. But playing at home and winning
this series, it gives us some momentum
to take forward. We have a few things
to work on. But we are going to be up
for it," said Zimbabwe captain Brendan
Taylor on how motivated his side will
be.Hamilton Masakadza will be at the
forefront of their batting and, with
Sibanda also in form, there will be
much to look forward to for the Bul-
awayo crowd that turns up on Saturday
The same cannot be said about the
visitors. After going down in the ODI
series, they have lost their leader after
he resigned in a fit of rage. Mushfiqur
Rahim will still lead the team out but
these will be his last matches as captain.
For the time being, the team has to
give him a fine send-off.
"There are a couple of Zimbabwe
guys who also play in the BPL. They
know how we will go about the T20s,
but we will hopefully bounce back,"
Bangladesh, just like Zimbabwe, have
been without a win in their last five
matches. Remarkably, for a young side
with lots of trigger-happy batsmen,
Bangladesh admittedly struggle in T20s.
It will still be a close contest at the
start but the team with more confi-
dence will take this away quickly. (ESP-
Mike Hesson, the New Zealand
coach, believes that the Ross Taylor
captaincy controversy has helped him
become a "better" coach.
Hesson, who replaced John Wright
as New Zealand head coach last July,
was a key figure in pressing for a
change of captaincy from Taylor to
Brendon McCullum. Consequently
Taylor opted out of the South African
tour before returning for the home
series against England in February.
"I learned a lot during the whole
experience and it might make me a
better coach," Hesson said in Leicester
as New Zealand continued their prepa-
rations for the return series.
Speaking on a wide range of issues
in an extensive interview, Hesson spoke
about his coaching philosophy, the
challenges of managing players, the
mistakes committed on the road, as
well as giving an insight into the game
plans that worked in the drawn Test
series against England.
Asked specifically whether the way
Taylor was removed as captain was a
mistake, Hesson said: "Whenever you
make a decision like changing a captain
it is difficult decision to make. All I
want to say is at no stage during that
process you want to upset anybody
or put someone in a difficult situation.
That obviously occurred, which was
It was an emotionally difficult
moment for everyone involved, Hesson
said. It has been six months since the
incident and according to Hesson the
relationship with Taylor, the best bats-
man in the New Zealand squad, is on
"We certainly are developing our
relationship nicely. The circumstances
have been well documented. We have
been working well together."
Hesson pointed out that Taylor's
success as a batsman was very impor-
tant to New Zealand because that
would help the inexperienced young-
sters to play their own game with more
"Ross is a huge part of our group,"
Hesson said. "He is our premier bats-
man and he has performed very well
in England in the past. We are a far
better team when Ross Taylor is in the
team and performing well. It is great
to have him back.
"It is important for Ross to impose
himself. He is quite an imposing bats-
man. Once he has got that level of
confidence he is actually quite hard
to bowl to. So it is matter of getting
the confidence, getting that imposing
nature at the crease. And also he works
with some of younger batsmen as well.
So the more comfortable he can feel
about his own game the more com-
fortable he will feel helping others."
PONTE VEDRA BEACH---Sergio Garcia had one of those stretches
where it felt like every putt was going to drop. He needed every
one of them yesterday for a 7-under 65 to match his best score
on the TPC Sawgrass and take a one-shot lead over Tiger Woods
among early starters at The Players Championship.
Garcia didn't miss a fairway and putted for birdie on every hole
on the back nine and wasn't gaining any ground. That changed
on the front nine when he made seven straight putts --- five of
them from about 15 feet or longer --- to race by Woods and into
Woods looks like he's having a good time on the course that
has vexed him more than any other on the PGA Tour, and he could
be the greater threat on the weekend. Already a three-time winner
this year on tour, Woods has rarely put himself in trouble and had
his second straight 67.
Woods was at 134, his best 36-hole total by six shots at this
tournament, including the year he won.
He tied for the lead with a 5-wood into 20 feet for eagle on the
par-5 second hole, and then took the lead alone with a short birdie
on the fourth. But it didn't last long. Garcia, playing in the group
ahead of him, ran off five straight birdies, finishing that stretch
with a 20-foot putt on No. 5 and a 25-footer on No. 6.
Woods and Garcia have played together on big stages --- Bethpage
Black, Royal Liverpool --- with a big edge for Woods. They had to
wait to see if they would be in the final group on Saturday with
half the field still on the course.
Then again, Sawgrass tends to turn nasty in the afternoon as
the greens get firmer and shots tend to release instead of settling
close to the hole. Among those who played late was Roberto Castro,
who opened with a 63 and already had three bogeys in his second
Woods again handled the par 5s and now has played them in
8-under for the week, including his eagle.
Lee Westwood chipped in from 100 feet for eagle on the 11th
hole and was atop the leaderboard until making pars on his last
eight holes. He had a 66 and was two shots behind, along with
Kevin Chappell who had a 66.
Ryan Palmer, who learned Thursday night that one of his best
friends died in a car accident in San Antonio, had two eagles in
a round of 69 and was three shots behind. Defending champion
Matt Kuchar birdied three of his last four holes for a 66 and was
at 7-under 137. (AP)
Garcia goes 1 up on Tiger
at Players Championship
Kirsten decides not to
continue with South Africa
Bangladesh to give Mushfiqur a fitting farewell
Hesson: We're a better team when Taylor is performing
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