July 12, 2001

Denis Aberhart follows Trist from Canterbury to New Zealand coaching role

Just as former Central Districts bowler Denis Aberhart followed David Trist as coach of the highly-successful Canterbury team of the 1990s, he will follow him as coach of the CLEAR Black Caps.

Aberhart's appointment was announced today by New Zealand Cricket after a lengthy interview process.

Trist leaves for Sri Lanka tomorrow with the New Zealand team for the Coca-Cola Cup tournament with Sri Lanka and India on what will be his last mission with the national side.

Aberhart, 48, a Christchurch headmaster at St Pauls Primary School for the last 11 years, he will take over the coaching reins for the September-October tour to Pakistan. He has been given a two-year appointment, beyond the World Cup in South Africa in 2003.

He coached Canterbury from 1992/93 until 1996/97, having been a selector before 1992.

The Trist-Aberhart era was responsible for bringing through several of the players who have dominated the New Zealand scene in recent years. Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, who started his first-class career with Northern Districts, Geoff Allott, Chris Harris and Gary Stead are just some of the players who have emerged during their time.

Trophies aplenty, especially the Shell Cup, were in almost permanent Canterbury care during the 1990s. Sides he coached completed the Shell Cup/Trophy double twice and won the Cup on another occasion.

Once his Canterbury assignment was completed he coached the Central Zone in the two years of Conference cricket and last year he coached the Otago side.

Aberhart is a former first-class cricketer.

During a 37-game career for Central Districts and one for Canterbury, he took 101 first-class wickets at an average of 23.16.

New Zealand Cricket operations manager, John Reid, said the process of appointing the coach had been rigorous and Aberhart had proved at the end of the second interviews to be the unanimous choice of the interviewing panel.

"Denis Aberhart has a proven track record of success with each of the teams he has coached, developing individuals and creating strong teams. He was particularly successful with Canterbury in the mid-90s but also last year was given glowing reviews by his many youthful charges at Otago.

"He has served a comprehensive apprenticeship within the New Zealand Cricket system and greatly impressed the interviewing panel with his clarity of vision and his professionalism," Reid said.

Reid also clarified the management structure of the New Zealand side.

"In essence there has been no change to the structure of the CLEAR Black Caps team management. As has always been the case the Team Manager, as the New Zealand Cricket Board representative, is ultimately the leader of the side. At an operational level the coach and captain are equal partners in the running of the team.

"In cricket, more than most other sports, the captain makes a significant contribution to the team strategy and tactics. He is the leader in all decisions relating to on-field play such as bowling rotation, field placements, batting order and the decision whether to bat or field.

"The coach's key areas of responsibility are the technical aspects of individual player performance, the preparation of the team including analysis of the opposition, and Denis will be a member of the selection panel. The coach and captain will together develop the team¹s tactics and the make-up of the final playing XI. The coach, along with the captain and manager, is also responsible for the creation of a successful team culture and team protocols.

"It is the intention that the manager, coach and captain will all be equally accessible to the media," Reid said.