Former New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney has lambasted Black Caps coach Gary Stead for taking a break during the ODI series against India.
With New Zealand not having won a game since December and in the midst of an eight-game losing streak in all formats, NZ Cricket revealed yesterday that Stead would be away for the three-game series that begins today.
Coney was in disbelief that Stead would be absent in what he told Radio Sport was “probably the most important season we've had for 10 years, with no Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies to feast on."
"We're facing the three big boys (Australia, India, England) – they were marmalised in Australia and it's now five-zip at home. Wouldn't you think the main coach and selector would be there?”
"This is the job and this is the main part of the season, it's ridiculous this is happening at this crunch time.”
"You don't take your captain away from the helm when you are wanted most, when the ship is in deep shtook, amongst the rocks.”
Coney said if the role was too much for Stead, NZC should look for a replacement for one of the formats.
"Would you call it desertion? Or would you just say it's a really bad look fellas? If I was (NZ Cricket boss) David White I would say to myself, no I'm sorry Gary, you can wait a week.
"If you are really finding it tough and have to be away from the family, let's have a chat and find another coach for the T20 format."
With New Zealand having been swept in the Test series in Australia and then by India in the five T20s, Stead needed to get more out of his players, Coney said.
"I've seen wayward bowling, mismanaged games resulting in losses, bungled run outs, I've seen the fielding coach away, the bowling coach away, the batting coach away.
"If it is too much for them, you can go and get a job in a hardware store and see your family every night.”