DURBAN -

Gary Kirsten has decided not to renew his contract as South Africa coach, which ends in August, to be able to spend more time with his family. The Champions Trophy in England in June will be his last assignment with the South Africa side, which he led to the top of the Test rankings.

Kirsten was appointed in August 2011 for a two-year period, with the option to renew it for a further two years. His contract required him to inform CSA by April 30 this year whether he wished to exercise that option.

"Gary has a young family and it is understandable that he wishes to spend more time at home," Chris Nenzani, the CSA president and chairman, said. "I would like to thank him for his tremendous contribution to the wellbeing of the Proteas over the past two years. It is obvious to all of us, whether we have been close to the Proteas or simply fans watching from the stands, the standard of excellence that he has brought to our national team and it will be wonderful if he can complete his tenure by bringing home the ICC Champions Trophy next month.

"With the team due to tour Sri Lanka in July and August and Pakistan in November and important home series coming up against India and Australia next season it is important that we move quickly to identify his successor."

Nenzani said CSA would try to utilise Kirsten's experience in some other capacity. "Gary certainly leaves the Proteas in good health and, although we are disappointed to lose him as head coach, he has put the foundations in place to carry us forward. We will certainly endeavour to retain his services in some capacity as his experience as player, coach and mentor is not something we want to lose in its entirety."

"I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for the confidence they showed in entrusting me with the fortunes of the national team," Kirsten said. "It has been a huge privilege to represent my country as player and coach and to have been given the responsibility of growing the team.

"I would particularly like to thank Cricket South Africa for allowing me the flexibility to combine my coaching job with my family life during my tenure. There have been many highlights over the past two years which have been well documented and I have every confidence that the Proteas will continue to go from strength to strength."

South Africa's bowling coach Allan Donald hoped Kirsten's tenure would end with a Champions Trophy title. "I spoke to Gary personally a couple of days ago and I respect his decision 100%," he told ESPNcricinfo. "At the moment we are very focused on the Champions Trophy and I'm sure that this team needs no motivation to go and win this tournament for Gary. As far as I'm concerned we just got to let this whole thing take its course and for me there is no decision to be made about my future with the Proteas."

Mark Boucher, the former South Africa wicketkeeper, tweeted: "Protea crickets loss today with Garys decision,but a life lesson in itself..always put family first! take a bow Gaz! Thanks for all ur work!"