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Making a difference is the most important thing for Gary Kirsten
2012-05-16

 

Gary Kirsten
16 May 2012

“Can I make a difference in someone’s life?” This was the central driving force for Gary Kirsten, head coach of the 2011 World Cup winning Indian cricket team. He currently coaches the Proteas.

Gary was the first guest speaker at a new series of lectures at our Business School. Challenges and solutions in management will be highlighted in the series. In his lecture, Gary was interviewed by Prof. Johann Coetzee, Extraordinary Professor at the Business School. The audience got a glimpse of the person often seen on television screens and they travelled with him from his childhood days at the Newlands Cricket Ground to his days in New Delhi as head coach of the Indian team.

His challenge in India was to develop a new culture in a team with very valuable and expensive brands. His light-bulb moment occurred on a team-building visit to Australia. His question to the team was what he could do for them and what they would expect from him. The turning point was Sachin Tendulkar’s answer: I would like you to be my friend. Tendulkar’s wife’s comment on the winning night was the proof of his success. She said: “The last three years were the happiest in my husband’s life.”

Gary said it was an incredible privilege to make a difference in people’s lives. “I wake up asking myself where I can make a difference in someone’s life. You must create an environment for people to enjoy the game, challenge one another and thrive.”

He is confident that the Protea team has the potential to be a great cricket team. He said the upcoming England tour is a test. “This tour will test us to be the top team in the following years. I would like to set them up for the best chance to win.”

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