New Zealand Cricket chief David White has hit back at criticism over the resting of coach Gary Stead, currently sitting out of the three match ODI series against India.
Despite the Black Caps being winless from their last eight matches, and without victory in 2020, Stead has stepped away from his duties as head coach of the New Zealand side, leaving bowling coach Shane Jurgensen in charge for the current series.
However, the move has earned criticism from far and wide, former captain Jeremy Coney labelling the break as "ridiculous."
Speaking to media in Hamilton today though, White outlined that the break would be vital in keeping Stead fresh mentally.
"Player and support staff workload is a big issue in international cricket," White said.
"We lost our last coach, Mike Hesson, to workload issues. We want to make the workload sustainable going forward."
White acknowledged that the timing of the break may not sit well with the New Zealand cricketing faithful, but insists that the bigger picture needs to be looked at.
"I can understand the passion. It's been a challenging time for us.
"But this planning was done six months ago. If you just go back and look at the timing [we've had] the World Cup, a tour to Sri Lanka, a full tour by England, going to Australia and playing India now.
"It's been a big time commitment, we'd identified this series."
White also says that the upcoming World T20 in Australia and the two match Test series with India are being deemed as the more important fixtures in the Black Caps' calendar, rather than and ODI series that - in the context of world cricket - counts for very little.
"We've prioritiesd preparation for the T20 World Cup at the end of the year, so the five T20s were a priority.
"And obviously the Test Match Championship is a priority.
"We've identified this week as the time Gary's going to have a break."
Finally, White says that despite the backlash, Stead was the last person that wanted to have a week off, with the Black Caps down on results and confidence.
"Gary has always been a reluctant coach to have a break, the man works very, very hard.
"So, it's something that as managers, we must manage the workload, otherwise we're going to have burnout.
"Coaching at an international level is one of the toughest jobs in cricket."