Leaving Team India was a difficult decision: Kirsten

Last Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 08:33 AM IST

Zeecric Bureau

New Delhi: Outgoing coach Gary Kirsten said that all the players stood by him to achieve the impossible and it was very hard for him to bid adios to Team India.

"It has been one of the hardest good byes I have had to say," Kirsten told reporters in his farewell press conference after serving out a successful term during which the Indian team reached the pinnacle of Test rankings besides lifting its first World Cup title in 28 years, last week.

"It has been an amazing achievement to be a part of this special group of cricketers," he said.

"I think it was interesting to come into this job without any coaching experience. I used the reference of being a player to work with the team. I tried building trust in the environment. Me and Paddy (Upton) tried to make sure that they knew that we had come to India to make it the best team in the world," he said.

"They are the number one Test team in the world and won the World Cup so there is nothing much to improve. We have been working really hard on fielding and I was quite amazed at the way we fielded in the last three games of the World Cup," he said referring to the improved standards of fielding in the Indian team`s knockout stage campaign.

The former South African opener added, “Congratulations for the achievements, thank you for all the cherished memories. It was an honour to be a part of the team. Credit goes to the players for making it happen.”

Gary had fond words for his India experience in the past three years and was emotional as he told reporters, “A huge part of my heart remains in this country, with its beautiful people. A large part of my life will always be with India. As a player I would have loved to win the World Cup, the second best thing was winning it as a coach.”

He also said that he had given his best in preparing the Indian team for the World Cup adding, “I worked as much as possible for victory. All the players stood by me.”

He was all praise for the World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni and said that Dhoni was the best captain he has ever seen.