19 October 2017Last updated

Features | People

My fabulous Friday: Gary Kirsten

When the 48-year-old former South African cricketer and coach of the World Cup-winning Indian team steps away from the pitch, biking, boating and bonding with his kids score a six

By KR Nayar
4 Apr 2016 | 03:04 pm
  • Source:Getty Images

Float my boat

When I feel the need to escape from the everyday grind, I go down to the Breede River close to our cottage in Cape Town. I have a small boat and I take it out on the water to fish and spend time with my sons Joshua and James and daughter Joanna.


Braai bros

Being South African, braai is in my genes. Succulent meat grilled outdoors – nothing can beat it. After winning the SA series of 2006 we had the Indian cricket team over at my house for a braai.

Game on

Other than cricket, I also play a bit of golf. While I’m a left-handed batsman, I’m right-handed at golf. I enjoy mountain biking too, and participated in the Absa Cape Epic 2016 race in South Africa last month to raise money for charity.


Twenty TV

I don’t have the patience to watch cricket on the telly, especially the long formats of the sport. Twenty20 is the only type of cricket I watch on television because it is quick. I’d rather watch rugby.

Weekend casuals

Outside the cricket uniform I’m most comfortable in shorts and T-shirts. They’re the perfectly relaxing attire you’ll find me in all weekends.


Home ground

Newlands Cricket Stadium in Cape Town is my favourite ground in the entire world. I have an emotional bond to the place because it’s where I grew up – I used to live in a house on the grounds as my dad Noel Kirsten was the Head Groundsman.


Swoosh to Swiss

Switzerland is such an amazing destination to unwind in. It has amazing walking and cycling routes in the mountains that are a perfect blend of recreation and exercise. We once took the South African team to the ski resort of Château D’Oex so they could bond and get to know each other better while also enjoying a well-deserved break.


Keeping time

I simply can’t do without my Garmin satellite watch. My favourite gadget, it’s one of the best GPS watches out there for running and such an asset when I’m prepping for big trail mountain biking.

Warriors at the wicket

I’ve been privileged to work with some of the best cricketers in the world. The late Hansie Cronje is the best captain I ever played under; he was one man who could rise to the big moments. A great coach was Bob Woolmer – he groomed South Africa to be a strong team. India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whom I coached, is the most impressive captain I’ve seen. I’d go to war with him by my side.

By KR Nayar

By KR Nayar