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October 6, 2008
Shane Deitz, the former South Australia wicketkeeper-batsman, has moved to New Zealand to take up a position as a development coach with Cricket Wellington. Deitz will play club cricket in the city but he does not expect to continue his first-class career, which stalled at 66 games after he was not offered a contract with the Redbacks for 2008-09.
"The role I'm taking is pretty full-on with weekend work watching the under 17s and under 19s so I wouldn't say I'll be playing anything above club," Deitz told the Dominion Post. "Playing for Wellington hasn't entered my mind, I just want to put 100% into my coaching job. I can't wait to get my hands dirty."
Technically Deitz could play first-class cricket for Wellington this season as their overseas player Graham Napier is at this stage lined up only for limited-overs matches. However, Cricket Wellington wants Deitz to focus on coaching after New Zealand Cricket helped fund his appointment.
A part-time gloveman who sometimes played as a specialist batsman, Deitz, 33, has scored 3753 first-class runs and averaged 30.76. He was one of South Australia's best in 2006-07 but last summer he had a disappointing Pura Cup campaign and averaged 20.25 with a top score of 59.
"I had a poor last season and the older players [Darren] Lehmann, [Jason] Gillespie, [Matthew] Elliott all retired and because I'm roughly in the same age bracket I think they were looking for a fresh start," Deitz said. "It was a shock, though.
"But I've had ten years at first-class level and I'm more than happy with what I achieved. I'm pretty proud, but now I'm just looking to the next challenge, which is coaching."
A level three qualified coach, Deitz was offered the role with Wellington after an off-season stint playing alongside Grant Elliott in the Netherlands. He is not the only Australian involved at Wellington, where the former New South Wales fast bowler Anthony Stuart, who took an ODI hat-trick, is the head coach.
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