Amid plenty of talk and discussion surrounding the workload of international coaches doing the rounds in world cricketing circles, former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has made public his desire to take the Blackcaps’ coaching reigns in the shortest format of the game, i.e. T20 cricket. The move might only of course happen if New Zealand Cricket decides to restructure the current coaching set-up in order to reduce head coach Mike Hesson’s workload.
Stephen Fleming has a congenial relationship with New Zealand batting coach, Craig McMillan
Speaking to his country’s local Trackside Radio, Stephen Fleming said: “It’s based on my passion and love for New Zealand cricket. I’ve got a very good relationship with Craig McMillan [the current batting coach] and spend a lot of time talking to him about where the game is going and what he sees. So I enjoy passing on that knowledge and it comes back to wanting the New Zealand team to be strong.”
Having hung up his playing boots after the conclusion of the 2008 edition of IPL, Fleming took up the coaching reigns of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and has established himself as one of the most sought after coaches across the various T20 leagues in the world. Other than coaching the MS Dhoni-led CSK and Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL, Fleming has also been carrying out a similar role with the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League.
“I enjoy going away and having a strong New Zealand team performing well around the world, it helps my job and I enjoy getting the New Zealand players in the sides that I’ve got,” Fleming added.
Commenting on the ever increasing workload on international coaches who carry out such duties in all three formats of the game, Fleming said: “You’ve got to think for a modern day coach these days, to be spending 250-300 days away, or involved in the job, travelling and hotels and being away from the family, that’s unsustainable. So you’ve got to look after your coaches and maybe T20 is one form of the game where there’s an opportunity for the head coach to have some time off.
“Whether you develop a Craig McMillan or another young coach coming forward, or you get an old dog in and maybe Vettori or myself come in to spend a bit of time there? It’s whether it keeps Mike Hesson fresh, it’s whether it falls into line with what Mike wants. But I think it’s worth discussing going forward as the schedule gets more cluttered. What I’ve heard from NZ Cricket and Mike right now is that the balance is pretty good, so he’s pretty happy to continue what he’s doing. But it needs to be explored,” he concluded.