NZ Cricket defends call to grant Blackcaps coach Gary Stead leave

New Zealand Cricket is standing firm in the face of intense criticism over the decision to give Blackcaps coach Gary Stead a break, as his team struggles through a horror run of form. 

Former players have climbed into Stead and his bosses for going on holiday, as the team desperately tries to snap an eight-game losing streak.

Assistant Shane Jurgensen has taken the reigns for the one-day international series against India, and New Zealand Cricket makes no apologies for the absence of Stead. 

"This was planned six months ago," said CEO David White. "We're sticking to our plans."

But former NZ captain Jeremy Coney is having none of it. 

"You don't take the captain away from the helm when the ship is in deep shtook amongst the rocks," Coney told NZME. 

"What you do is you roll your sleeves up, surely?"

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