Gary Stead mid-series break defended by New Zealand Cricket

By Staff Reporter - February 9, 2020

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White has defended head coach Gary Stead after he was criticised for taking a holiday during his side’s series against India.

The 48-year-old’s weeklong break had been planned for six months, but comes with the Blackcaps experiencing a rare slump. Having lost all three Tests during their tour of Australia, they were then whitewashed by India in a five-match T20I series – a defeat worsened by the significant winning positions wasted by Kane Williamson’s side.

With Williamson now out with a shoulder problem for the first two ODIs against India – the first of which New Zealand won on Wednesday, Stead’s absence has left his side without either coach or captain, with Tom Latham standing in as Williamson’s deputy.

The situation has been queried by former New Zealand skipper Jeremy Coney, who told Radio Sport: “Can you see Steve Hansen leaving the All Blacks after they are one-nil down against the Lions, and taking a week off before the second Test?

“This is the job and this is the main part of the season. It’s ridiculous this is happening at this crunch time. You don’t take your captain away from the helm when you are wanted most, when the ship is in deep shook, amongst the rocks.”

White, however, explained the reasoning behind Stead’s time off.

“It has been a big time commitment,” he said. “It is not just Gary, we are constantly rotating the support staff, so we can manage the workload.

“Of any sport in New Zealand, the one that has the most demand for time is cricket. These guys are away for a long time, so we must manage their workload.”

By Staff Reporter

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