sport

Kirsten out of England running

Gary Kirsten has ruled himself out of the England team director's job for family reasons.

The South African had been identified by many pundits as the ideal man to succeed Andy Flower, with the England and Wales Cricket Board now looking for someone to lead the team across all three formats.

However, the 46-year-old insists his personal situation means the England job is not one he can consider right now.

"It would have been a great challenge, it's a high-profile sport. Whenever I've toured England I've always been amazed by the following," he told Sky Sports.

"It's a pressurised sport and I think Andy Flower over many years did an exceptional job."

Kirsten added on Sky Sports: "I had many chats with Andy and I enjoyed his way.

"I have often wondered whether I could go in with my coaching philosophies and thinking that it could work within that environment. I would have enjoyed the challenge, like I would any challenge that I take on.

"I'm taking on the IPL team the Delhi Daredevils - thank goodness it's a shorter period of time - but I'm looking forward to that challenge and the one thing I'm really looking forward to is working with some Englishmen, some Australians, some West Indians maybe, some South Africans and Indians."

Flower stepped down as team director last week following England's humiliating Ashes whitewash Down Under.

Limited-overs coach Ashley Giles is another of the front-runners to take on the job, but he fared little better in Australia as the team slipped to 4-1 and 3-0 defeats in the one-day and Twenty20 series which followed the Ashes.

Whoever takes charge will be without the services of star batsman Kevin Pietersen, who was left out of the squads for the limited-overs tour of the Caribbean and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh announced this week and has signalled that his international career is over.

National selector James Whitaker gave little away about the reasons for excluding Pietersen from future squads when pressed on the decision on Thursday.

"That is a legal position and at the moment I'm not at liberty to say," he told Sky Sports News, giving credence to reports of a confidentiality agreement between Pietersen and the ECB.

Whitaker said it had been a "tricky decision" but that it was now time to "rewrite those values" which unite the team.

He added: "The one-day international team and the England Twenty20 team has played a number of matches over the last 12 months or so without Kevin and, on occasion, performed very well, and I would hope that's the case going forward."