New Zealand domestic news September 16, 2014

Kruger van Wyk to captain Central Districts

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk has been appointed captain of Central Districts for the 2014-15 domestic season. Van Wyk will take over from Kieran Noema-Barnett, who served as captain for the last two years and led the team to the Plunket Shield title in 2012-13.

''Kieran's done a great job over the last two seasons but he's got aspirations to play at the international level and, from that point of view, we want to give him the optimal opportunity to concentrate on his own game,'' Heinrich Malan, Central Districts' coach, told Dominion Post. ''It's got nothing to do with Kieran as such. We made the decision with him and to give him the best opportunity to play at a higher level. He's on board with that and happy for us to have the best interests of his career at heart.''

Van Wyk was captain of Canterbury Wizards when they won their first state championship title in 2008, but he was stripped off the captaincy during the 2009-10 season, after which he joined Central Districts. Since then, he has occasionally been captain in a stand-in capacity, and Malan believed van Wyk's natural leadership skills boded well for the team.

''He's been an MA [Major Association] captain before and he's played international cricket so, from a pedigree point of view, he ticks all the boxes. Every time we get ourselves in trouble, at 120 for 5 or something, he comes in at seven and he's the grinder and the battler and he leads from the front in all aspects," Malan said. "Kruger is a different kettle of fish when it comes to cricket. He overthinks and over-analyses, so it's going to be good for me to challenge him in a different way and for him to challenge me."

Van Wyk has played nine Tests for New Zealand, but he was dropped after a poor series in Sri Lanka in 2012, when he made 41 runs at an average of 13.66. He has not played an international match for almost two years.