The atmosphere in New Zealand cricket has not been how one would have expected to be after the run team had in the 2019 World Cup. The Kiwis were nearly perfect in the quest for their maiden World Cup title but luck had something else in store for them as they lost the opportunity to win the coveted cup after two ties, one in the scheduled fifty over and then in the Super Over. England won the Cup courtesy the then ICC rule which suggested that the team having more number of boundaries in the match takes it all.
Six months after the heartbreak, New Zealand find themselves in all sorts of problem. The Black Caps have been whitewashed twice consecutively in the last few months. They were humiliated by their neighbours 3-0 in a Test Series and then India added to their misery when they whitewashed New Zealand 5-0 in the recently concluded T20I series.
Considering the aforementioned scenario any wrong foot put forward by New Zealand was bound to raise several eyebrows and head coach Gary Stead’s ‘pre-planned Vacation’ just gave the opportunity people had been waiting for.
“This is probably the most important season we’ve had for 10 years, with no Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies to feast on,” New Zealand’s former captain said on Gary Stead’s week-long holiday. New Zealand
To bring in the graveness of the situation Coney drew comparisons with former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen saying, “Can you see Steve Hansen leaving the All Blacks after they are one-nil down against the Lions, and taking a week off?”
“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,” the 67-year-old added.
Coney suggested that if the workload is really harsh the New Zealand chief executive David White should have asked Gary Stead to wait for a week or suggested a new coach for the T20 format.
“I’m quite annoyed about it. I’ve heard they want to freshen up for the other challenges ahead after this series. What? What? What series are they? They’ve got three T20 and three ODIs versus Australia. They have the rest of March off, all of April, all of May, a couple of weeks in June off, then we face the might of Ireland, Scotland and West Indies,” Coney said according to a ESPNcricinfo report.
Coney was so irked by Stead’s holiday that he suggested that if a person wants to meet his family everyday he should consider working in a ‘hardware store’. “It seems to me this is your job and this is the time of year when you really work,” a worried Coney added.
“I’ve seen wayward bowling, mismanaged games resulting in losses, bungled run outs, I’ve seen the fielding coach away, the bowling coach away, the batting coach away,” 52 Test veteran Coney said.
For now, it seems that coach Gary Stead have got the managements backing.
“It has been a challenging time for us but this planning was done six months ago. 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,” David White said on the criticisms which may worsen if New Zealand lose the ongoing ODI series as well.