Kane Williamson, Gary Stead deny rumours of conflict


New Zealand head coach Gary Stead and skipper Kane Williamson have denied rumours of a conflict taking place between the two of them. There were speculations that the head coach wanted opening batsman Tom Latham to take over the captaincy duties from Williamson, which was denied by Stead.

He told stuff.co.nz, “Kane and I have a really strong relationship, and we spoke about it. There was no basis in truth and the disappointing part is it’s coming from somewhere and someone, but it’s not Kane and it’s not I. I really enjoy working with Kane. The discussions we have are robust and always directed at what’s best for the team, which is something I know we are truly aligned on. It’s like any business, you always have positive conflict and if there wasn’t, then I’d be worried.”

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Williamson, too, maintained the same statement, adding that they have always been honest with each other about the way forward. He said, “Gary and I have a very good relationship, and we’re always honest with each other and keen to challenge each other. Ultimately we both share the vision of where we want the team to go and that’s a really positive one. How we get there is a constant discussion like in any organisation with leadership. It’s a positive thing, and we’re happy to have those honest discussions.”

Stead also said that he has been expecting an extension of contract after his current term ends in October. The 48-year-old was appointed in August 2018 and has had a successful stint with New Zealand, making it to the final of the 2019 World Cup with his side also second in Test rankings. In 16 Tests under Stead’s watch, New Zealand have registered nine wins and five losses. Stead stressed he’s keen to continue with the role.

He said, “Talks have been pretty positive and, if New Zealand Cricket and the players feel as though I can keep contributing then I’d be interested in continuing on.”

With New Zealand Cricket confirming that they will grant NOCs to the players picked in the Indian Premier League, the T20 League will be the first Cricketing action for most of the Blackcaps Cricketers post lockdown. After the conclusion of the IPL, New Zealand are scheduled to host the West Indies, subject to approval of the government.