5 Feb 2020

NZ Cricket defends Stead holiday

5:10 pm on 5 February 2020

Former international players have criticised the break particularly the side in a form slump and captain Kane Williamson also missing two of three one dayers through injury.

But the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket David White says Stead's week long break was essential as over the past 16 months has only had four months at home.

He said managing work loads is a big issue in international cricket for players and coaches.

Gary Stead worries the Black Caps are vulnerable in the opening test against Sri Lanka.

Gary Stead Photo: Photosport

"We lost out last coach Mike Hesson to work load issues so we want to make the role sustainable going forward. That is why Gary is having a week off.

Yes it's been a challenging time for us but this was planned six months ago."

The past year has been very busy for the New Zealand side with the cricket world cup, tours to Sri Lanka and Australia and a tour to New Zealand to by England and White felt this was the best time for Stead to have a break.

The Black Caps priority for the year was the T20 World Cup.

Stead was with the side during the five games against India but White said the tests against India were taking priority over the ODI's which is why Stead was away now.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White.

David White, NZ Cricket CEO. Photo: Photosport

White said Stead was "always reluctant" to take a break "but it's up us as his managers to make sure he takes a break otherwise we are going to have 'burnout'."

"We've had a tremendous run and its tough at the moment...is it a concern? Of course it is and we are always monitoring what our fans are saying but we have got to think long term as well and managing workloads is very important for our people."

White said in the wake of Hesson's departure they looked at splitting the Black Caps coaching role but ultimately went with one coach covering all three formats but on the basis work load would be strictly managed.

It's a tremendous work load. It's time away from home. Time away from family which is really demanding."

White endorsed Stead as Black Caps coach - "he's had a very successful time over the past 16 months. Test wins away overseas, taking the team to the world cup final - yes we have had a challenging time in Australia and now but gee if you look back over the last 16 months he's done a terrific job."