Gary Stead, on Wednesday, was named New Zealand’s head coach. The former New Zealand batsman has signed a two-year contract with New Zealand Cricket after Mike Hesson decided to step down in June this year. Stead will start his stint with the Black Caps from September.
Stead represented New Zealand in 5 Tests in the year 1999. He scored 278 runs with the help of two fifties. He also played 101 first-class games and 103 list A games, scoring over 7,000 runs. Stead has a decent amount coaching experience as well. He had coached the New Zealand Women team, guiding them to the World Cup final in 2009. In addition, he has also helped Canterbury win three Plunkett Shield titles.
Speaking about his plans with the New Zealand team, he said:
“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.”
“This is a well-established and high-performing Black Caps 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. I can’t wait to get started,” he added.
Stead’s first assignment will be the series against Pakistan in UAE in October. He has his task cut out in replacing Hesson.
Hesson enjoyed a highly successful stint. His finest moment came in 2015 when he led the country to its first-ever World Cup final.
Under Hesson’s guidance, New Zealand rose to the pinnacle of T20I rankings, number 2 in ODIs and number 3 in Tests. In April this year, New Zealand won their first-ever Test series over England since 1999. Overall, New Zealand won 21 of their 53 Tests, losing 19 under Hesson. In ODIs, they won 65 of their 119 ODIs with 46 losses and in T20Is won 30 of their 59.
Hesson had held the position since 2012 but decided to step down to take a break from the rigours of international cricket.
“This job requires 100 per cent commitment and is all consuming,” he had said after stepping down. “I know what’s required over the next 12 months, but if I’m honest, I don’t feel I have the capacity to give the job what it deserves. NZC, in particular, David White and the board, have given me incredible support, including flexibility and options. But the idea of missing a match, a tour or a format, as has been proposed at different times, has never sat well with me.
“I couldn’t let this opportunity pass without acknowledging my wife Kate and our daughters Holly and Charlie, who have sacrificed so much for me over the past six years. And I just want to place on record my gratitude to all the players and support staff. I love the team and have great hopes about what they will be able to achieve. I’ll always be a supporter,” he had added.