Gary Stead has been appointed BLACKCAPS head coach on a two-year contract.
A former New Zealand Test player and highly-successful coach of Canterbury, Stead emerged as the preferred candidate for the BLACKCAPS job following the resignation of Mike Hesson in June.
The 46-year-old father of two has previously coached the WHITE FERNS to the final of the Women’s 50-over and T20 World Cups, and Canterbury to four titles in the four summers between 2013-14 and 2016-2017.
He was earlier a long-serving member of the Canterbury side which dominated representative cricket in New Zealand through the 1990s, in total playing 101 first-class matches and 103 List A 50-over contests.
Gary has offered great service to Canterbury Cricket for the best part of 30 years as a player, administrator and coach. We cannot thank him enough for his time in our organisation. Throughout Gary’s time as head coach of our Canterbury Men’s side they have won the Plunket Shield 3 times and the Ford Trophy once.
Jez Curwin, Canterbury Cricket CEO states, “We are incredibly proud of Gary, a true Cantabrian who came through our systems as both a player and coach to move on and now take on the BLACKCAPS Head Coach role. We wish him every success and he will be missed”
Stead was also an NZC High Performance Centre coach between 2004 and 2008, helping develop emerging and Academy players, while revising and re-designing NZC’s Level 3 Coaching Course, and its elite coach appraisal system.
Familiar with the BLACKCAPS environment after standing in as a batting and support coach in the 2016-17 summer, he joins the side nine months out from the ICC Cricket World Cup in England, and with the World T20 in Australia also falling within his contract period.
A feature of Stead’s contract is the flexibility for him to co-opt additional expertise or specialist coaching support if and when deemed advantageous, and particularly in terms of the T20 format.
Stead said he was looking forward to driving the BLACKCAPS existing campaign plans for the upcoming world cup, and putting in place new ones for other pinnacle events and series on his radar – including the World Test Championship, and the World T20 in 2020.
“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,” he said.
“This is a well-established and high-performing BLACKCAPS 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 noted the appointment followed a thorough, transparent and consultative process, which involved player representation on the appointments panel and regular feedback from the wider player group.
He said Stead was an outstanding candidate who came from a background steeped in high-performance, and had the ability to add value to the BLACKCAPS environment.
“We’re delighted for Gary – he has excellent qualifications, a solid temperament, vast experience, and is open to innovation.
“I also think it’s great NZC is continuing to invest in, and recognise the primacy of, our own domestic competitions and coaching programmes.”
Stead will officially start his two-year contract on September 1. His first assignment with the BLACKCAPS will be the Test, ODI and T20 series against Pakistan in the UAE, starting late October.
Image courtesy of Photosport NZ.