Cricket: Gary Stead the perfect choice for new Blackcaps coach - Mark Richardson

Blackcaps, Test Cricket
Gary Stead is a 'steady set of hands' according to Mark Richardson. Photo credit: Getty

Gary Stead is the perfect choice to lead the Blackcaps forward, according to former international Mark Richardson.

Cantabrian Stead, is reportedly set to be announced as Mike Hesson's replacement next week, with Stuff claiming he was unanimously recommended to the board of New Zealand Cricket.

The 46-year-old was a five-test Black Cap, playing 101 first-class matches for Canterbury before a coaching career that has included stints with the White Ferns and the Canterbury men's side, winning three Plunket Shield titles.

Speaking to RadioLIVE on Sunday, Richardson said he is confident New Zealand Cricket has hired the right man for the job.

"He is a solid sort of individual who has been through every type of cricket there is and coached at every level," Richardson told Andrew Gourdie and Jim Kayes.

"Pardon the pun, but I think he will be a steady set of hands."

Under Hesson, the Blackcaps developed a culture that was primarily led by the captain. Brendon McCullum was an influential leader who implemented an aggressive style of cricket similar to his own. While Williamson has pulled the reins back somewhat, the relationship between captain  and coach remained the same.

"They are happy with that model of having a strong captain," Richardson told Sunday Sport.

"Kane Williamson is really growing into that role and is establishing himself as one of our most influential captains ever.

"Stead will play the role in the background as a guy who does all the due diligence, crunches the numbers and makes sure everyone is happy with the bus moving in the right direction.

"Hesson did that very well, working brilliantly with [Brendon] McCullum and was developing a similar relationship with Williamson.

"To continue that type of model on is all they need to improve that 5 percent more."

Cricket: Gary Stead the perfect choice for new Blackcaps coach - Mark Richardson
Photo credit: Newshub.

Richardson believes that bringing in a strong personality, who had a vision that was separated from that of the current regime, may have set the side back years.

"The last thing they needed is someone to come in and rock the boat - that would have been unfair to Williamson and the leadership group, all of whom have been around for quite some time now.

"You still need that power of authority that ultimately makes the final decision, but if we had gone with an abrasive character it would have upset the apple cart somewhat and things are going pretty well at the moment."

The former Blackcaps opening batsman noted the current side has achieved remarkable results under Hesson, including a superb run at the 2015 World Cup, test wins in England, Sri Lanka and the West Indies as well as an excellent home record that includes series wins over India, England and Pakistan.

Richardson believes this current squad are as competitive as any in the history of New Zealand test cricket.

"We have a decent group of senior players who are all performing well for New Zealand," Richardson said.

"There are just little areas of the team where they need just a little of improvement in performance and they will become a really good cricket side.

"I think they are already a good cricket side - we the public sometimes undervalue how good this team is.

"They are never going to dominate all the time but they have their share of victories against quality opposition - good victories, and they bounce back from defeat very well. 

"If we can keep the nucleus of this side together and develop the spin bowling performance, we are in for a decent run over the next few years."

Listen live to Sunday Sport with Andrew Gourdie and Jim Kayes.


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