Gary Kirsten says family circumstances could have played a role in his failure to beat Chris Silverwood in the race to become England’s new cricket coach.
Silverwood was hired as Trevor Bayliss’ successor earlier this month and will lead England for the first time on their forthcoming tour of New Zealand.
Kirsten was believed to be in strong contention for the job before Silverwood pipped him. His successful stints in charge of India and his native South Africa meant Kirsten had more international head coaching experience than Silverwood.
But Kirsten, who will work with the Welsh Fire in next year’s The Hundred tournament, conceded his insistence on taking regular time away was a potential reason for being overlooked.
“It would have been a great opportunity, very exciting. I wouldn’t have flown across the world if it wasn’t,” he said.
“I’ve always wanted to be involved in English cricket. I only came over because I was excited by the opportunity. I didn’t get a huge amount of feedback so the only thing I can think of is that I was fairly high risk.
“My kids are little and I placed a huge importance on being able to see them as regularly as I could. But I discussed it with my wife, we’ve done it before with India so we know the space, and we said ‘we’ll make it work if we can’.
“It is hectic, without a doubt, probably 250 days year away from home. I’d love to get back in to international cricket but I’m not bothered by the decision, everyone makes the call they need to.”
Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow has pledged to fight to win back his place in England’s Test team.
Bairstow was central to England lifting the World Cup this year but his form tailed off in the Ashes.
The Yorkshireman is set to feature in the five-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand, but he is a notable absentee from the squad for the Test series that follows.
Jos Buttler inherits the gloves and Bairstow said: “If you’re scoring runs, no matter the format, I think it definitely influences certain things.
“I want to be playing and representing England in all formats. That’s the nature of me, that’s who I am. I want to work hard in the time that I’ve got and hopefully impress enough to be in contention come South Africa.”