With a cricket stadium as his back yard and a fanatical sporting family, Gary Kirsten was always destined for a life in sport. It was under the oak trees of Newlands cricket ground in Cape Town that a great love for cricket was nurtured.
With his father appointed as the groundsman at Newlands and a family life that lived and breathed sport, it was almost inevitable that Gary Kirsten would become one of South Africa’s most beloved sportsmen.
Propelled to independence by the death of his father soon after he matriculated, Gary initially never pursued a career in cricket. However, with the help of some influential coaches at the University of Cape Town, he was instilled with a sense of self-belief and work ethic that would see him become a South African cricketing legend.
Off the field, he was also a key component of the social bond between teammates, knowing that a vital aspect of teamwork is the ability to have fun as a team. This stood him in good stead to become the Indian coach, leading them to the 2011 Cricket World Cup trophy.