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International Cricket

Gary Stead named New Zealand head coach

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

New Zealand Cricket announced on Wednesday, August 15, the appointment of Gary Stead, the former batsman, as the new head coach of their men’s side.

Stead, who played five Tests for New Zealand in 1999, will start his tenure from September this year. He replaces Mike Hesson, who had stepped down as head coach in July.

Stead’s first international assignment will be the multi-format series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October, followed by a busy home season against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India.

“It’s a matter of helping maintain New Zealand’s strong form on the international scene, but also respecting what’s happened over the past four or five years by continuing to push for improvement,” said Stead.

“But I will have ideas that will hopefully add to the group as well. I want to foster and continue to maintain what is great about our team and then find ways that we can make small gains because at the end of the day we want to win peak events.”

Stead has had a successful coaching role with Canterbury and with the White Ferns, the New Zealand national women’s team.

His two-year tenure will also see him oversee the team in two major events – the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, and the ICC World T20 2020 in Australia.

Stead said he hoped to build on recent successes. “It’s clearly been a successful time under Mike Hesson and Kane Williamson recently, and my intentions aren’t to throw that all (their achievements) out out the window,” he said.

"Gary has excellent qualifications" – NZ Cricket Chief Executive

“Gary has excellent qualifications” – David White

“But I will have some that sure will be new, that will challenge our group as well and I hope that at the end of the day, that keeps working towards an improved performance,” said Stead.

“This is a well-established and high-performing BlackCaps side with an excellent captain in Kane Williamson, and a real desire to win series and titles. It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of that, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Stead said he would bring a fresh perspective to the side, a new pair of eyes that could possibly catch things others who have been in the environment longer might have missed.

“I am going to go into the role with my eyes wide open,” he said. “I believe in the first three to six months is a chance to go in with fresh eyes. I’ll be able to see things people who have been there a long time won’t see.

“We want to win the World Cup. We want to win the (ICC) Test Championship. That will be my goal to hopefully set the track in pulling it all together and keeping it all on the right track.”

Stead was, according to David White, the NZC chief executive, the “outstanding candidate” for the role.

“We’re delighted for Gary – he has excellent qualifications, a solid temperament, vast experience, and is open to innovation,” said White.

“I also think it’s great NZC is continuing to invest in, and recognise the primacy of, our own domestic competitions and coaching programmes.”

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