It's official. Former South African opener Gary Kirsten will occupy the hot seat of coach of Indian cricket team, a year after Australian Greg Chappell had stepped down from the post following the team's debacle in the World Cup in the West Indies.
Kirsten, 40, said he had conveyed his acceptance of the offer made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to be the coach.
He said his two-year contract as coach would begin from March one next year.
Kirsten said he would, however, be joining the Indian team possibly in the middle of its tour of Australia, starting later this month, as a consultant.
"I'll start from March one but in the meanwhile I will interact with the team and the cricket board as a consultant", the former gritty batsman told PTI from his home in Cape Town.
Kirsten said he would travel to India to talk to the players before they embark on their tour of Australia.
The left hander said he was "very, very happy" with the terms and conditions of his contract with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and honoured to be the coach of "such a great cricket team".
Kirsten said he had already told the Indian cricket board that he would not be available as a coach for the tour of Australia.
Asked about reports on his concern over some senior Indian cricketers' reservations about having him as the coach, Kirsten said he has no concerns about what the cricketers think of his appointment.
Kirsten said he looked forward to a fruitful partnership with Indian cricket.
The former batsman said he, along with his family, would move to India as soon as they sorted out their commitments in South Africa.
Kirsten's acceptance of the BCCI offer came a week after he was interviewed by a committee of experts set up by the Board in a cloak of secrecy in Delhi last week.
The committee consisted of former captains Sunil Gavaskar, S Venkataraghavan, Ravi Shastri, BCCI Joint Secretary M P Pandove, Treasurer N Srinivasan and Secretary Niranjan Shah.
Earlier on Tuesday, BCCI President Sharad Pawar rubbished media reports that Kirsten is delaying his decision to take over as India's cricket coach sensing a possible opposition from the senior members of the team.
Pawar said Kirsten had written to the Board seeking some clarifications but it had nothing to do with what senior players thought of him.
"I read reports claiming he is delaying it because he wants to know if some players are opposed to his appointment or not. This is not true," he said.
Since Chappell left the job, India are without a full-time coach with Chandu Borde, Ravi Shastri and Lalchand Rajput doing the makeshift cricket manager's role at times.
Among those who had applied to succeed Chappell are former stumper and Maharashtra coach Chandrakant Pandit, former head of the Queensland Academy of Excellence Richard Done, Leicestershire coach Tim Boon, former Australia and South Africa international Kepler Wessels, Queensland coach Terry Oliver, Canterbury coach Dave Nosworthy and former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe.