New Zealand expands coaching ranks to avoid burnout

New Zealand has added former England all-rounder Luke Wright and Zimbabwe Test batter Dion Ebrahim to its coaching ranks to help ward off burnout among staff as the Black Caps slog through a long tour.

Wright, who played 50 one-dayers and 51 T20 matches for England, will join New Zealand’s staff for tours of Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands in July-August.

Ebrahim, head coach of Otago in New Zealand’s provincial competition, will join as a fourth coach in the setup for the three-test tour of England starting at Lord’s on June 2.

All New Zealand staff, led by head coach Gary Stead, will take breaks at different stages during the tour.

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“We’ve obviously also got a T20 World Cup at the end of the year, so ensuring we have that energy and that freshness will be really important,” Stead told reporters at a team camp in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday.

“A key lesson from last year’s COVID-enforced schedules was the importance of keeping not just our players fresh, but also our staff.”

Regular bowling coach Shane Jurgensen will lead staff during the tour of Ireland, allowing Stead to take a break before rejoining the group for Scotland and the remaining series.

Stead said the floating coaching roster was “driven by everyone” in the setup, but would not put an additional burden on the players to deal with different tactics and styles.

“I hope that whether I’m there or not has little relevance in how we play the game at the end of the day,” he said.

“We have an experienced group of players and experienced coaching staff now as well.

“The key thing is that we will still have a game-plan, a blueprint of the way we’re trying to play the game and they will be the key messages that we will keep giving the players.”

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