Fleming shows interest in New Zealand T20 role

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Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming would be keen to work with the national T20 side if there was a push to restructure the coaching set-up to reduce Mike Hesson’s workload.

Stephen Fleming

Fleming, who coaches in the IPL and Big Bash League, also put forward the name of Daniel Vettori – another who now works in the T20 format – but made clear he remained impressed by Hesson’s achievements. However, he believes that the packed international schedule will eventually lead to more specialised coach appointments.

Simon Doull, the former New Zealand paceman, recently suggested that Hesson – and captain Kane Williamson – should move aside from the T20 international game, while England coach Trevor Bayliss said he would not have a problem if the coaching roles in his team were split.

“It’s based on my passion and love for New Zealand cricket,” Fleming told Trackside Radio. “I’ve got a very good relationship with Craig McMillan [the current batting coach] and spend a lot of time talking to him about where the game is going and what he sees. So I enjoy passing on that knowledge and it comes back to wanting the New Zealand team to be strong.

“I enjoy going away and having a strong New Zealand team performing well around the world, it helps my job and I enjoy getting the New Zealand players in the sides that I’ve got.

“At some stage, who knows and I think Daniel would be the same. I’d love to help, but I certainly appreciate and admire the work Mike has done.”

At the conclusion of the England series in early April, Hesson will be able to have some downtime as New Zealand do not play again until a series against Pakistan in October, but Fleming still thinks that being in charge of all three formats could become too great a task for one man.

“You’ve got to think for a modern day coach these days, to be spending 250-300 days away, or involved in the job, travelling and hotels and being away from the family, that’s unsustainable,” he said.

“So Simon [Doull] makes some good points there about looking after your coaches and maybe T20 is one form of the game where there’s an opportunity for the head coach to have some time off.

“Whether you develop a Craig McMillan or another young coach coming forward, or you get an old dog in and maybe Vettori or myself come in to spend a bit of time there?

“It’s whether it keeps Mike Hesson fresh, it’s whether it falls into line with what Mike wants. But I think it’s worth discussing going forward as the schedule gets more cluttered. What I’ve heard from NZ Cricket and Mike right now is that the balance is pretty good, so he’s pretty happy to continue what he’s doing. But it needs to be explored.”

New Zealand’s T20 form took a dive after a strong start earlier in the season. Pakistan came from 1-0 down to take the three-match series in January, when New Zealand conceded their No. 1 ranking, then they managed just a single victory – against England in Wellington – during the T20 tri-series. The next World T20 will take place in Australia in 2020.

“If you’re bouncing from each form, sometimes you can miss the subtleties of the game that are developing behind closed doors, because you’re so focused on a Test or one-day series,” Fleming said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re relevant in all forms and have got the selectors, coaches and personnel looking at the right things.” (ESPNCricinfo)

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