Their stint together yielded India the 2011 World Cup trophy and former India coach Gary Kirsten on Monday doffed his hat to the enigmatic Mahendra Singh Dhoni, calling him “one of the best leaders” he has worked with.
Dhoni, the only captain to have won all the ICC trophies, retired from international cricket on Saturday, more than a year after he last played for India — the lost World Cup semifinal against New Zealand.
The 52-year-old Kirsten, who was head coach of the Indian team between 2008 to 2011, thanked Dhoni for all the good memories that he made during his tenure.
“A privilege to work with one of the best leaders I have come across. Thanks MS for many fond memories with the Indian Cricket Team @msdhoni,” the former South African batsman wrote on his twitter handle.
Under Kirsten, India had claimed the Asia Cup in 2010 before ending a 28-year long wait to win their second World Cup crown in 2011.
Kirsten built a strong relationship with Dhoni during the time and on Monday, he revisited a past statement, which described their bond aptly.
“I would go to war with Dhoni by my side.”
Dhoni’s retirement has triggered an avalanche of emotional tributes with several past and current cricketers expressing their admiration for his unorthodox leadership, brilliant finishing skills and sharpness behind the stumps.
The man himself, only issued a brief “consider me retired” post on instagram to announce the big decision and has not spoken after that.
He will, however, be seen in action during the IPL starting September 19 in the UAE.