He is disappointed not to have assumed the mantle of Black Caps coach but Heinrich Malan says all you can do in such situations is to throw your hat in the ring and hope for the best.

"At the end of the day it comes down to the best fit in the environment," said Malan, the Central Districts Stags coach for the past five years, after Gary Stead, of Canterbury, was named the successor of Mike Hesson amid much media speculation and predictability of the outcome.

"You know, it's the dream job and to get there was never going to be easy," he said. "No one has the right to ever get into a position like that so it's going back to looking after the small things from a coaching point of view and making sure you look after the environment you're currently in."

The former Pretoria-born, first-class cricketer, who has been based in Napier since 2013, said he and Stead ran their coaching structures in distinctive ways and the selection panel had bought into the one it felt was the best for the national men's cricket team.


The 37-year-old mentor felt it was a good part of the exercise to undergo and to have a grasp on what was required in that part of the cricketing environment so he was pleased to have got to the final stage of the selection process.

The job of coaching the New Zealand men's team had reportedly come down to a two-horse race between Stead and Malan with the former, as it turned out, predicted to cross the line by a neck.

Reportedly, Malan was seen as "a little too early" for the job although the irony was Hesson was appointed when he was 37.

Malan congratulated Stead on his appointment and his journey for the next two years with the Black Caps when he takes office on September 1.

"I think, from the outset, it's like selecting players — you know, if you're good enough, you're old enough," he said.

In February, Malan had said it was a pivotal part of his career, reiterating it was about getting a clearer picture of structures.

Last September he toured with New Zealand A men as an assistant to Shane Bond for two four-day games and five one-dayers but his worth is best reflected in the quality picked for the Black Caps and NZ A squads.

During his tenure, the likes of Ben Wheeler (T20, ODI), Seth Rance (T20) and spinner Ajaz Patel, waiting to make his debut in the tour of the United Arab Emirates in late October, as well as NZ A players — Tom Bruce, Blair Tickner, George Worker and William Young — have helped pave a well-trodden pathway from CD to the international arena.


While he was a distracted with the Black Caps job, Malan said his mind didn't waver from the day-to-day requirements of the start of the domestic cricket season in October.

Coach Heinrich Malan is looking forward to his last summer with the CD Stags and working with some more fresh talent. Photo/file
Coach Heinrich Malan is looking forward to his last summer with the CD Stags and working with some more fresh talent. Photo/file

He was looking forward to working with the Stags again and the excitement of injecting a few young bloods into the equation for another exciting summer.

He had mentioned it to New Zealand Cricket and with some senior players in the Black Caps' environment was to prepare players for the next level.

"The big part of an MA [major association] coach's job is to equip and educate our players to what is required at the next level and that's definitely given me more insight into what it's like on the international stage, so I'll be able to take that and share it with some exciting and aspiring cricketers with the Stags."

Malan's domestic contract expires at the end of the 2018-19 summer and he's informed CD and NZ Cricket he won't be re-signing.

"It's put us both in good positions where I can apply for the New South Wales job or the Black Caps role, which I have obviously done.

"It also gives the Stags the opportunity to start getting a succession plan around what's going to happen here."

As a career coach, he was hoping there would be other options for him around the corner.

"In time, we'll see what it brings for us."

Malan didn't believe advocates of "preferably a Kiwi for the job" had diminished his chances of the Black Caps job because he had served his time in the New Zealand system so it wasn't a factor at all.

He also said the NZ Cricket job vacancy made it abundantly clear the portfolio of Hesson's successor was always going to cover all three formats so speculation on a division of white and red-ball labour was just that.

Stead, 46, is a former White Ferns coach who took the Canterbury Kings to four titles in the four summers between 2013-14 and 2016-2017. He also played 101 first-class and 103 50-over matches for the province where the NZ Cricket headquarters is based.

Stead was an NZC high performance centre coach between 2004 and 2008, helping develop emerging and academy players, while revising and re-designing NZC's level 3 coaching course, and its elite coach appraisal system.

A batting and support coach in the 2016-17 summer, he will be at the Black Caps' helm nine months out from the ICC Cricket World Cup in England. The World T20 in Australia also will come under his tenure.

"It's a matter of helping maintain New Zealand's strong form on the international scene, but also respecting what's happened over the past four or five years by continuing to push for improvement," Stead said, recognising Kane Williamson's excellence as captain and the collective's desire to win series and titles.

"It's an honour and a privilege to be part of that, and I can't wait to get started."

NZC chief executive David White said a thorough, transparent and consultative process, which involved player representation on the appointments panel and regular feedback from the wider player group, was employed.

"We're delighted for Gary — he has excellent qualifications, a solid temperament, vast experience, and is open to innovation.

"I also think it's great NZC is continuing to invest in, and recognise the primacy of, our own domestic competitions and coaching programmes," White said.