Gary Stead will continue as New Zealand’s head coach till mid-2025, with the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and ICC World Test Championship in focus, announced New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Tuesday. “First appointed for a two-year term in late 2018, Stead had his contract renewed in 2020 until the end of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in India, and will now stay on until the conclusion of the current World Test Championship cycle, in June 2025,” said a statement from NZC.
The decision follows a long and thorough consultative process during which Stead, arguably New Zealand’s most successful men’s coach, received unanimous support for continuing in the role.
New Zealand Cricket’s GM High-Performance Bryan Stronach said the case for retaining Stead was compelling.
“The support for Gary was overwhelmingly positive – from the players, the Blackcaps support staff, Major Association coaches and support staff, as well as the New Zealand Cricket Players Association and NZC High-Performance Unit staff,” said Bryan.
“Gary’s results have been very impressive and we are confident that he still has a lot to offer the team. Of course, a big part of this decision came down to whether Gary wanted to continue and he made it clear his appetite to take this team forward was as keen as ever,” he added.
Bryan said a formal split-coaching model was considered for the role and rejected, although there remained flexibility for NZC to co-opt additional coaching staff if desired.
“A split-coaching role was discussed in depth but, with most of our leading Blackcaps playing across all three formats, and the culture of the group so strong and positive, we saw clear benefits in supporting the status quo. Of all the different potential scenarios, we considered this the best option available to us,” he said.
Bryan said fresh voices and new ideas would continue to be introduced to players through the “fourth coach” concept, in which Blackcaps touring squads were supported by coaches with a specialist skillset, or knowledge of specific overseas environments or formats.
Recent examples of this include Stephen Fleming, Shane Bond, Saqlain Mushtaq, Luke Wright and Thilan Samaraweera.
Stead’s reappointment period will include the ICC T20 World Cup in June/July 2024, the ICC ODI Champions Trophy in February/March 2025 and, if applicable, the ICC World Test Championship Final, in June 2025.
NZC chief executive David White said he was satisfied the process underpinning Stead’s reappointment was detailed and robust.
“Several months of discussions and consultation preceded this decision and, as CEO, I am very satisfied all options were well considered,” said White.
“I am very pleased for Gary. He is a quality person, he has the support and trust of the players, and he is very good at his job. I am sure all Kiwi cricket fans will join me in wishing him well over the next two years.”
Test captain Tim Southee said the players were pleased Stead had been reappointed.
“Gary’s had great success leading us into finals in all three formats and, of course, that World Test Championship win. It has been great the way that he has come in and built on what was previously achieved,” said Southee.
Southee said the role of the modern-day head coach was as much about managing people as the technical aspects of the role.
“The sheer amount of time players and support staff spend away from family and loved ones makes for a challenging environment. With so much cricket being played these days, being able to effectively manage people and their workloads is a huge part of the job,” he concluded.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article