New Zealand Cricket chief executive officer David White has defended head coach Gary Stead, who has been criticised for going on holiday during a challenging series against India.
New Zealand lost the T20I leg of the series five-nil, after which Stead left for a pre-planned, week-long holiday. They have since started a three-ODI series with the Indians – and will then play two Tests.
What New Zealand Cricket said
“Player and support staff's workload is a big issue in international cricket. We lost our last coach, Mike Hesson, to workload issues. We want to make the role sustainable going forward. That is why Gary is having the week off this week,” said White.
“It has been a challenging time for us but this planning was done six months ago. Please go back and look at the schedule: World Cup, tour to Sri Lanka, then full tour by England, then going to Australia, then playing India now.
“It has been a big time commitment. 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.”
“For this Indian tour, we have prioritised preparation for the T20 World Cup and also the Test match Championship is our priority. When they play a Test match, a lot of preparation goes into it. The guys go into a camp. A lot of planning, a lot of preparation.
“I just want to point out to everyone that when we did the schedule some six months ago. Gary has been always reluctant to take a break, the man works very, very hard, so it is something as managers we must manage the workload. Otherwise we will have a burnout. As you know, coaching, at international level, is one of the toughest jobs in cricket.”
Stead's predecessor Hesson joined the Kings XI Punjab – and later the Royal Challengers Bangalore – in the Indian Premier League.