New Zealand expands coaching ranks to avoid burnout

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New Zealand have added former England all-rounder Luke Wright and Zimbabwe Test batsman Dion Ebrahim to their coaching ranks to help avoid burnout as the Black Caps navigate a lengthy tour.

Wright, who has played 50 one-day matches and 51 T20 games for England, will join the New Zealand squad for tours of Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands in July-August.

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

The entire New Zealand staff, led by head coach Gary Stead, will take breaks at various stages of the tour.

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

“A key lesson from the schedules imposed by COVID last year was the importance of keeping not only our players fresh, but also our staff.”

Regular bowling coach Shane Jurgensen will lead the staff during the Ireland tour, allowing Stead a break before joining the squad for Scotland and the remaining series.

Stead said the floating roster of coaches was “everybody driven” in the setup, but would not place an additional burden on players to deal with different tactics and styles.

“Hopefully whether I’m there or not is of little importance in how we play the game at the end of the day,” he said.

“We also have an experienced group of players and an experienced coaching staff.

“The main thing is that we will always have a game plan, a plan for how we try to play the game and those will be the key messages that we will continue to convey to the players.”

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