Former Blackcap, Head Coach of ‘White ferns’ (originally named as NZ women’s cricket team), Director of cricket and Head Coach of CCA that runs New Zealand’s one domestic team out of 6 named Canterbury, Gary Stead, has now been confided the biggest challange as New Zealand cricket have roped in him as NZ men’s team coach on a two years contract. Stead emerged as the head successor of Mike Hesson with the latter shockingly deciding to leave the onus in June citing family considerations.
Stead has been handed over a steady side with established players and captain, cricket pundits believe that Gary is steady enough to take on the job. Gary Stead has called it as a dream come true and ready to brace challenges. He will start his duration with the team who are slated to play a full series against pakistan in UAE in October.
Let’s try to know who the new boss of the Kiwis are :-
● Personal information :
Gary Raymond Stead took birth on 9th January, 1972 in Christchurch, New Zealand and purused his career as a cricket player. He is currently 46 years old.
● International career :
At international level he could only feature in 5 tests in year 1999, two each against South Africa and West Indies and a sole test against India that was his only away appearance as well. A top order batsman, Stead was asked to open in India and returned the scores of 17 and 78 in both innings against the likes of Kumble, Harbhajan, Prasad and Srinath to help New Zealand secure a hard fought draw. He scored 278 runs in 8 innings with an average of 34.75 with two 50s. In five tests he was part of New Zealand team, he scored the most runs only second to Nathan Astle but he never got out in single digits in his brief career. He was a tough batsman as on average he played around 83 balls per innings.
● Domestic Career :
He played domestic cricket for Canterbury only. In 96 first class games he scored 4706 runs at an average of 32.01 with 10 centuries and 22 half centuries. He made 103, 50 overs appearance as well for Canterbury and gathered 2173 runs at an average of 27.85 with 2 centuries and 10 half centuries. He played for Canterbury for 8 years before earning his national call. He captained Canterbury for five seasons from 1998-99 when the team was going through bad patch.
● As a Coach :
Previously he has coached White Ferns and Canterbury teams with great success. In his coaching stint, the White Ferns played finals of both 50 overs World Cup and WT20. Canterbury won 4 titles in his coaching, 3 Plunkett Shields (FC Cricket) and 1 Ford trophy (50 overs tournament).
Stead was also NZC High Performance Centre Coach in the period 2004-08, helping develop emerging and academy players, while revising and redesigning NZC’s level 3 coaching course, and it’s elite coach appraisal system.
“Early specialisation in representative cricket will mean a smaller pool of talent to pick from later on”, Stead said.
From the moment Hesson resigned, Stead was an obvious choice having spent time in Blackcaps’ environment during the 2016-17
summer as batting coach. He was selected by a panel made up of New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White, current test wicketkeeper BJ Watling, former Blackcap Luke Ronchi, former national selector and Test
opener and current Wellington coach Bruce Edgar, NZC board member Don MacKinnon and NZC head of high performance Brian Stomach.
● Writer’s Take :
Under Mike Hesson the Kiwis achieved a W/L ratio of 1.10 in Tests, 1.41 in ODIs and 1.25 in T20Is. Major achievements of his coaching being NZ played finals of 2015 WC and semifinals of WT20 2016.
Now he has handed over a well balanced and successful team to Gary Stead. If it is gift for Stead then it is also a challenge for him to keep NZ cricket advancing pace intact. He has a great team and a chance to make a mark as two major tournaments (World Cup 2019 and WT20 2020) are coming over in his tenure.