5 Jul 2023

Jurgensen to leave Black Caps and coach Wellington

5:48 am on 5 July 2023
New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen

Shane Jurgensen Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Shane Jurgensen will step down as Black Caps bowling coach following the ICC Cricket World Cup in October-November, to take up the role of Wellington Firebirds head coach.

Jurgensen will finish as the team's longest serving coach with a combined ten years in the position after returning for his second stint in 2016.

In that timespan, the Black Caps rose to number one in the world in all three formats, appeared in two ICC T20 World Cup semi-finals (2016 & 2022) and a final (2021), an ODI World Cup final in 2019 and claimed a memorable victory in the inaugural World Test Championship Final in 2021.

The 47-year-old former first-class bowler said the decision to move on was not an easy one.

"It has truly been a privilege to be part of this team for nearly a quarter of my life," Jurgensen reflected.

"I have seen Tim Southee and Trent Boult as teenagers in 2008 and watched them grow into adults, husbands and fathers.

"This team has meant so much to me and all I have ever wanted to do was make a contribution to help and support our people to become the best version of themselves.

"The Black Caps is a special environment which I will dearly miss, but I will leave with so many fond memories and lifelong friends."

Jurgensen said the allure of being a full-time head coach and the chance to spend more time with his family influenced his decision.

"New Zealand is a place my family now calls home and we're all looking forward to being able to spend more time together.

"To be joining such an important and historic organisation in Cricket Wellington is really exciting and I can't wait for the challenges ahead.

"The Firebirds have many talented cricketers, an impressive pathway system and a fantastic home ground in the Cello Basin Reserve."

Black Caps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen works with Trent Boult.

Shane Jurgensen and Trent Boult Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport

Jurgensen has helped develop a formidable stable of bowlers including pacemen Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne, along with spinners Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Ajaz Patel.

The Ōmokoroa local has also stepped into the Black Caps head coach role on 13 occasions, winning 11 of those games including a memorable 3-0 ODI series win over India at home in 2020.

Pace-bowler Matt Henry said Jurgensen would be missed for a number of reasons.

"Shane's been an integral part of the group for such a long time and the bowling group in particular have experienced so many special memories and moments with him," Henry said.

"He's obviously a fantastic bowling coach and someone that I've learned a lot from and enjoyed working with immensely.

Jurgensen will officially start his role as Wellington men's coach on November 21.