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May 29, 2012
Stephen Fleming has ruled himself out of replacing John Wright as New Zealand's coach, declaring he is not ready to return to the grind of constant touring. Fleming has not dismissed the possibility of pursuing the head coach position in the future but said the timing was not right and he would prefer to spend time at home with his young family.
Fleming's only coaching involvement is leading Chennai Super Kings and his side nearly won the IPL title on Sunday, narrowly losing the final to the Kolkata Knight Riders. He said the relatively abbreviated nature of the IPL was preferable to international coaching at the moment, given his desire to have plenty of time at home.
"Not really, from a selfish point of view," Fleming said on Live Sport radio when asked if he would consider the New Zealand coaching job. "I enjoy these two months [in the IPL] because it's my cricket fix and it's done and dusted, whereas with the national side you've got constant development and requirements with trave, not dissimilar to when you're playing and I'm still, I guess, weaning my way off playing for 15 or 20 years.
"I don't know if that's the path I want to go down. I have a good relationship with a number of the players, I enjoy talking about their game ... and that might pull me back at some point but I certainly can't see that in the near future."
Fleming, 39, retired from international cricket in 2008 and the following year ended his ties with Wellington and focused on his sports management business. In October 2009 he was considered a candidate to replace Andy Moles as New Zealand's coach but, like this year, ruled himself out due to his family commitments.
"I'm enjoying the four years I've been away [from playing] to develop new skills, meet new people and dabble a little bit in cricket," he said. "The timing really is the main point for me, I'm not quite ready to get back onto that roundabout of international cricket. I've got a young family that I love spending time with and while I do care deeply about the New Zealand side and the direction they're going, the timing's just not right for me to jump back into that touring lifestyle."
New Zealand Cricket wants to have appointed a new coach by the end of July, with Wright set to finish after the two-Test tour of the Caribbean in July and August. Wright took over from Mark Greatbatch as coach in December 2010 but decided against extending his contract this year, in part due to his differences with John Buchanan, who as NZC's director of cricket will play a key role in appointing the new mentor.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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