Former New Zealand Test batsman Gary Stead has been appointed as the new coach of the men’s cricket team for the next two years. Stead, who represented New Zealand in five Tests in 1999, succeeds Mike Hesson who resigned in June this year.

Stead was unanimously appointed by a five-member New Zealand Cricket (NZC) panel. The panel was made up of BJ Watling, the current Test wicket-keeper, David White, the NZC Chief Executive, former cricketer and current General Manager of National Selection Bruce Edgar, NZC Director Don Mackinnon, and Bryan Stronach, NZC General Manager – High Performance.

The 46-year-old has previously coached country’s women cricket team 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.

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 team’s 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.

Stead said he was looking forward to driving the team’s 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,” he added.

Stead will officially start his two-year contract on September 1. His first assignment with the team will be the Test, ODI and T20 series against Pakistan in the UAE, starting late October.