Gary Kirsten is regarded as one of the best coaches in Indian cricket history at the turn of the century. The South African former cricketer coached the side to World Cup glory in 2011, and was also key to the team reaching the top spot in ICC Test Rankings. Kirsten and MS Dhoni, who was the captain of the team at the time, shared a successful partnership -- both, on and off the field.
The South African, in a recent interview, mentioned an incident which shows the loyalty of the-then Indian captain towards him and the coaching staff. Recalling the incident, Kirsten said that it was this quality which made Dhoni one of "the most impressive people" he met.
“One of the most impressive people I have met, he is a great leader of people, he’s got incredible presence as a leader, but the most important thing is that he is loyal" Kirsten said on The RK Show on YouTube.
“I’ll never forget, just before the World Cup, we were invited in Bangalore to go to the flight school, to go and kind of have a look at that. Obviously, we had a couple of foreigners in our support staff, and we got word back on the morning before the whole team was meant to go – and everyone was looking forward to the event – that the three South Africans, which were myself, Paddy Upton and Eric Simmons, weren’t going to be allowed into the flight school because it was seen as a potential security risk.
"So MS cancelled the whole event. He just said, ‘These are my people. If they’re not allowed in, none of us are going’. And that was what he was about,” revealed Kirsten. (ALSO READ: Kaif reveals how Pant reacted when his name wasn't included in WC 2019 squad)
Kirsten further added that he and Dhoni would share insights on a lot of things about cricket, and eventually managed to create a healthy working relationship -- even if they sometimes had difference in opinion.
“He was very loyal, to me, and I think he saw as well, there were times when we didn’t always win games and we’d have some tough times. We’d spend a lot of time, just one on one together, talking through, taking the team forward. I think we built a strong relationship in the three years we had together,” said the former Indian coach.