Cricket: Gary Stead confirmed as new Blackcaps coach

Former Canterbury coach Gary Stead has been officially confirmed to guide the Blackcaps.

On Wednesday, New Zealand Cricket formally announced the 46-year-old's appointment on a two-year contract.

Stead, a former top-order batsman, played five tests for the Blackcaps and 101 first-class matches for Canterbury, before taking the reins as coach in 2012 and winning three Plunket Shield titles.

He also led the White Ferns to the final of both the women's 50-over and 20-over World Cups.

Stead said he was looking forward to driving the Blackcaps' existing campaign plans for the upcoming ODI World Cup, as well as establishing new ones for newly minted world test championship and the 2020 T20 World Cup.

"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.

"This is a well-established and high-performing 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."

NZC chief executive David White added that Stead would have flexibility within his new contract to bring in third-party expertise as he saw fit, particularly within the realm of T20.

"We're delighted for Gary," said White. "He has excellent qualifications, a solid temperament, vast experience and is open to innovation."

Stead takes over from Mike Hesson, who stepped down from the role in June, citing fatigue and a desire to spend more time with his young family.

Stead was reportedly unanimously recommended to the NZC board, beating out Central Stags coach Heinrich Malan for the job.

His first assignment will come against Pakistan in the UAE in October.


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