Gary Stead played an authoritative first innings as the country's new cricket coach and convenor of selectors, amid a barrage of questions and media requests.

The 46-year-old has signed on in the role for two years, filling the void left by Mike Hesson's June resignation.

Stead walked to the crease through New Zealand Cricket headquarters, past journalists scoffing plates of sausage rolls and bacon 'n' egg pie.

Polite enquiries about his approach were met with unruffled responses, as Stead nestled between New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White and high performance boss Bryan Stronach at the top table.


The new appointee demonstrated the authenticity and confidence which would have appealed to the selection panel of White, Stronach, test wicketkeeper B-J Watling, former national representative Luke Ronchi, former selector and test opener Bruce Edgar and board member Don Mackinnon.

A feature of Stead's contract is the flexibility to co-opt specialist coaching support, particularly in the T20 format. He acknowledged the need to tap into the expertise of Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond and Mark O'Donnell who are coaching club franchises internationally.

Stead said he was looking forward to driving the Black Caps' existing campaign plans for next year's World Cup, and enacting new ones for other key events such as the world test championship and World T20.

"It's not about it being my team, it's the New Zealand cricket team," he said.

"I'll have ideas which will hopefully add to the group. I'll try to foster and maintain what is great about our team and hopefully find a way we can make small gains."

Stead's first assignment will be against Pakistan in the UAE, which starts in October and encompasses all formats.

"The first three to six months is a chance to go in with fresh eyes," he said.

"I'll hopefully see things which people who have been there a long time won't see.

"It's clearly been a successful time with Kane [Williamson] and Mike [Hesson], so we won't be throwing all they've achieved out the window."


Stead spoke to Williamson as part of the interview process.

Stronach said the coach's familiarity with NZC systems was important, having coached Canterbury and the White Ferns for extended periods.

"Look at the history of Gary and the pathway he's taken.

"He understands where we're trying to get to, and how we're trying to get there."

In essence, he looks a sound pick with an immense knowledge of the game, having played at all levels.

Importantly, Stead also knows the value of grafting as a cricketer. The former batsman played five tests for New Zealand in 1999, averaging 34.75, and accumulated 101 first-class and 103 List A caps for Canterbury over a 15-season span until 2006.

"That was great when it happened, but I consider myself a cricket coach now; I think like a coach and try to develop myself as a coach."

Stead guided Canterbury to three Plunket Shield titles and the 2016-17 Ford Trophy over the last six seasons, and took the White Ferns to finals at the 2009 World Cup, and 2009 and 2010 World T20s.

He acknowledged a collaborative approach would be required in the new role initially, before establishing his own blueprint.

"It's a balancing act. Part of my job is to throw ideas at them and say 'is this an option?', and to discuss and debate the best way for the team.

"The emotional intelligence side of it is key; reading situations and knowing when to step back and come forward."

Stead gets on the front foot in his new role from September 1.