New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Board on Tuesday declared that Gary Stead will continue to serve as the head coach of the Black Caps for all formats. NZC general manager of high performance Bryan Stronach mentioned that a split coaching model was considered but it eventually got rejected though the flexibility to co-opt additional coaching staff still remained if necessary.

Stead was first appointed in 2018 and this is the extension of his second contract. His current contract was set to expire after the upcoming Cricket World Cup in India, but he’ll hold the office till the end of the current World Test Championship cycle in 2025.

NZC considered appointing different coaches for Test and limited overs cricket, but concluded Stead could handle the workload. 

“With most of our leading Black Caps playing across all three formats, and the culture of the group so strong and positive, we saw clear benefits in supporting the status quo,” NZC’s high-performance chief Bryan Stronach said in a statement after announcing Stead’s contract extension.

In March, Stead himself urged the board to consider a separate head coach for limited overs but had a change of mind and on Tuesday said that the adopting a split-coaching model was probably not suitable for New Zealand. 

“We’re not a big country … Our pool of players is a little bit smaller perhaps than other countries around the world,” he told to the reporters. 

“It makes the split coaching model probably not quite as relevant as other countries.”

All the conditions were in favour of Gary as he received good support as well as positive response from the players on the extension of his term. 

“The support for Gary was overwhelmingly positive from the players, the Black Caps support staff, major association coaches and support staff as well as the New Zealand Cricket Players Association and NZC High Performance Unit staff,” Stronach said. 

“Gary’s results have been very impressive and we’re 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.”

According to the Black Caps captain, Tim Southee the players were eager for Stead to continue. 

“Gary’s had great success leading us into finals in all three formats and, of course, that World Test Championship win,” Southee said. “It’s been great the way that he’s come in and built on what was previously achieved.”

In order to manage the workload, Stead will be assisted by short-term consultant coaches who will provide specialised skills and expertise appropriate to the respective formats and overseas conditions.

Stephen Fleming, Shane Bond, Saqlain Mushtaq, and Thilan Samaraveera are among the notable recent appointees in this capacity.

Furthermore, Stead will be able to decline specific tour engagements, allowing other members of the coaching team to fill those roles in his absence. 

“I was pretty open with New Zealand Cricket, and sort of explained that the idea of being away for eight or nine months on the road is unsustainable for anyone, players or staff,” Stead said.

“I’m certainly open to new coaches coming in. I don’t have to be the head guy, the front guy all the time.”

Stead, who took over as captain in 2018, has guided New Zealand to great milestones, including reaching the final of the 2019 ODI World Cup and winning the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021.With his sights set on the future, Stead’s immediate focus is on preparing the Black Caps for the 50-over World Cup, which will be held in India in October and November.

Following that, the team will focus on the T20 World Cup, which will be held in the United States and the West Indies in 2024.


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