New Zealand’s former cricketer Gary Stead has been appointed as their new coach just 8 months prior to the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Former coach Mike Hesson who was in association with the Blackcaps for 6 years announced his resignation in June this year. His term with the team ended last month and former New Zealand Test cricketer Gary Stead was appointed as head coach. His term will begin in September before the one-day international and Twenty20 series against Pakistan in the UAE in October.
A little about Gary Stead
The 46-year-old former Canterbury and White Ferns’ coach, Stead, played five Tests for New Zealand within a span of 9 months in the year 1999. As a top order batsman, he scored 278 runs at a batting average of 34.75. His first-class figures are 4984 at 32.15 including 10 centuries and 24 fifties. Not only did he aid Canterbury in triumphs as a player, but also as their coach. He maneuvered the side to domestic titles in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Just as under coach Mike Hesson, The Blackcaps saw to their way to the World Cup Final in 2015. Similarly, as the New Zealand Women’s Team coach Stead helmed the White Ferns to the 2009 World Cup final. As of now, he has been offered a two-year contract deal with the Men’s team.
Hesson’s contract extensions were such as to put him through and ahead of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. But he resigned stating he wants to spend more time with his family and felt he could not commit to the job for another 12 months. Although a man of reputation known for his calm management, Hesson was a man of power. He was already the most powerful man in New Zealand Cricket six months into his tenure. He went against the board and questioned Ross Taylor’s position as skipper and made sure Brendon McCullum was made captain instead. But as a brilliant man-manager that he is, he had fixed his relationship with Taylor soon enough. In his six years as coach, he along with skipper Brendon Mc Cullum built and carried out transformations and led the Team to success. He was the longest-serving coach of New Zealand Cricket.
Cricket pundits suggest Stead as a perfect choice for being Hesson’s successor because of his experience and temperament. Ex-cricketer Peter Fulton said, “He’ll be very well organized, a lot of detail and a really good thinker about the game.” Also, NZC chief executive David White said, “He has excellent qualifications, a solid temperament, vast experience, and is open to innovation.” To fill in Hesson’s shoes and to carry his legacy on would be one of the major challenges for Stead. He also has a World Cup ahead of him to guide New Zealand through.