Ali Bacher sings Kirsten's praises

Dr Ali Bacher said Gary Kirsten did well as a cricket coach for the Proteas and the Indian team.

Proteas coach Gary Kirsten. Picture: Alicia Pillay/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African cricketer Ali Bacher on Friday praised Gary Kirsten and his contribution to South African cricket.

Labelling him as a family man, Bacher told Eyewitness News he was not surprised by Kirsten's decision not to renew his contract.

His final tournament in charge will be June's Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom - a trophy the Proteas last won back in 1998.

Bacher said Kirsten influenced one of the world's greatest players.

"Sachin Tendulkar told me recently that Gary was the best coach he ever had, he can't get better praise than from Sachin Tendulkar."

The Cricket South Africa (CSA) board on Friday accepted Kirsten's decision not to renew his contract.

He was appointed in August 2011, signing a two-year contract, following significant success with the Indian national team.

During his time with the Indian squad, the team won the World Cup.

Kirsten cited personal reasons, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Meanwhile, Peter Kirsten said his brother's decision not renew his contract was not a sudden one.

Peter said his brother loved coaching, but that not taking the South African cricket team further was a shrewd decision for the Protea coach.

"Four years is a long time in international coaching so rather than being fired after two years. He's played his options quite cleverly I think while South African cricket is at the top. Who knows what will come his way?"