Auckland will have a new cricket coach next summer, with Paul Strang stepping aside at the end of this season.

The former Zimbabwe legspinner has been in charge for the last four seasons, during which Auckland have twice contested the Champions League as New Zealand's T20 champions, and collected a national one-day title too, as well as being beaten limited-overs finalists three times in between.

He was offered the chance to roll his contract over for one more year. However Strang's decision is based around a belief it is time for a change and the desire to look at new opportunities.

"The team has moved forward quite a bit in four years and now is really a good opportunity to get a new voice and new way of doing things," he said yesterday.


His decision was no spur-of-the-moment call. Strang had been thinking of standing aside from early in the summer. He is keeping his options open for the future, and will look at roles both within and outside cricket.

Strang, 42, will reverse roles with former test opener Matt Horne for the forthcoming Ford Trophy 50-over competition.

Horne will take charge for the competition, starting on February 26, with Strang in an assistant role.

•New Zealand seamer Chris Martin's minor hamstring twinge, suffered on the final day of Auckland's drawn match with Wellington on Sunday, should not keep the country's third-highest test wicket taker out of contention for the first test. He is in the Auckland squad for their match against Otago starting in Dunedin tomorrow.

The squad for that test, starting on March 6 also in Dunedin, is due to be named on February 20.