Speaker From

South Africa


Cape Town

State | County | Province

Western Cape

Speaker Bio

Gary Kirsten is the former South African cricketer and ICC World Cup winning coach of the Indian cricket team, played 101 Test matches and 185 One Day Internationals for South Africa between 1993 and 2004, mainly as an opening batsman. He retired from international cricket in 2004 after making history by becoming the first-ever Protea to play in 100 Test matches. He was also appointed as the coach of the South African cricket team in June 2011 and stepped down in August 2013.

After retirement, Kirsten established, Gary Kirsten Cricket, which is a global cricket business that provides coaching for individual cricketers, teams and coach education locally and Internationally. He has a great passion for the development of sporting talent in South Africa and also Founded the Gary Kirsten Foundation which focuses on the creation of sporting ecosystems and healthy alternatives for township communities by providing quality infrastructure that is safe and accessible to people in the townships.

Gary Kirsten is known for his straightforward approach and has the knack of simplifying often complicated issues. His passion for excellence and accountability is infectious.

Gary offers the following to his audience:

  • Building a winning culture
  • Understanding team dynamic
  • Working with champions
  • Creating self-belief
  • Withstanding pressure in a crisis
  • Managing risk in a changing environment
  • How to win

A left-hander with a specialized batting technique, Gary Kirsten was known as one of the strongest pillars of the South African top-order. Gary is a former South African cricketer and the World Cup winning coach of the Indian Cricket team. He played 101 Test matches and 185 One Day Internationals for South Africa between 1993 and 2004, mainly as an opening batsman. Gary’s game revolved around his basic strengths and weaknesses and his ability to adapt to different conditions.

Gary debuted against Australia in Melbourne in 1993 and over the years, His ability to concentrate for longer periods saw him becoming the leading South African run-scorer and centurion in Tests. His career-best knock of 275 came in 14 and half hours, the second-longest innings in terms of duration in the history of cricket, when South Africa followed on against England at Kingsmead in 1999-00. Later, in 2003, he returned to England to haunt them and in the Headingly Test, scored a crucial 130 that helped South Africa win the Test by 191 runs.

After he retired from the game, he was the batting consultant of the Warriors for some time and in 2006, he set up his own Cricket Academy in Cape Town. In 2008, he was elected to coach the Indian cricket team and over the next two years, changed the fortunes of the team. Gary’s personality was often reflected off-the-field when he mentored the Indian team. Under him, India did extremely well as they gradually scaled the No.1 rank in Test cricket, when the Indian team won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. In skipper MS Dhoni’s words, Kirsten was “the best thing to happen to Indian cricket”. He was later named coach of the South African national team in 2011. His attention to detail and structured approach makes him an effective communicator. His articulate and eloquent manner combined with an unmistakable presence endears him to all. Known for his straightforward approach, Gary has the knack of simplifying often complicated issues. His passion for excellence and accountability is infectious.


It seems that we’ve forgotten that school is a place where you learn. It’s a place of preparation, not performance. Once you have learnt skills and gained confidence based on real competence, you are better prepared for the stress of performance and competition. As a proud father and sporting icon, Gary also enjoys speaking to parents and educators about their approach to our children’s sport-life, and how it affects the children’s entire lives.

Gary shares remarkable parts of his own story, and helps us to rethink and sharpen our involvement in school sports.


  • My experience of playing sport at school
  • Meeting two of my mentors. Positive influences in my life.
  • Becoming a professional. The burden of expectation.
  • Becoming the Coach. What did I hear? What do they want to hear?
  • Becoming the parent. Looking through the eyes of my child, What do they hear?
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