WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Former test batsman Gary Stead was confirmed Wednesday as coach of the New Zealand cricket team, succeeding Mike Hesson who resigned unexpectedly in June.
Stead, 46, played five tests as a top-order batsman in 1999 before establishing a successful coaching career with Canterbury province and the New Zealand women's team.
He was one of several leading New Zealand-based coaches interviewed for the national coaching role which Hesson left on June 7, with a year to run on his contract.
Hesson was New Zealand's longest-serving coach and one of its most successful. In appointing his successor New Zealand Cricket sought a candidate who would ensure continuity, adopting a similar style to Hesson who has been widely applauded for the success he achieved while installing a culture of fair play in the New Zealand team.
Stead was a member of a Canterbury team which dominated New Zealand domestic cricket in the 1990s, playing 101 first class matches. As coach he guided Canterbury to four domestic titles in four years between 2013 and 2017.
He also coached the New Zealand women to finals of 50-overs and Twenty20 World Cups. Stead served briefly as New Zealand batting coach last year in the absence of regular coach Craig McMillan.
He joins the team nine months out from the next ICC World Cup in England.
"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 Black Caps side with an excellent captain in Kane Williamson and a real desire to win series and titles.
"It's a real honor and privilege to be part of that and I can't wait to get started."
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Stead emerged as the outstanding candidate in a recruitment process which included feedback from current New Zealand players.
"We're delighted for Gary," White said. "He has excellent qualifications, a solid temperament, vast experience and is open to innovation."
Stead takes up his contract on Sept. 1 and will lead the New Zealand team for the first time in test, one-day and Twenty20 series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates from late October.