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Fleming not ready to coach New Zealand

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 29, 2012

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Stephen Fleming during a Chennai Super Kings practice session, Cape Town, April 16, 2009
Stephen Fleming is happy to coach the Chennai Super Kings because of the short nature of the IPL, but does not want to return to the international touring scene © Getty Images
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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.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

To me New Zealand needs a coach who is someone all the players look up to. Steve Rixon would do well, as people have seen him do well with NZ in the past. I'd love to see Chris Cairns on the coaching track (obviously couldn't start with the NZ job), but he's a guy that is a leader of men, and is very knowledgable about how to play in all sorts of overseas conditions and both a batsman and a bowler. Lots of touring experience to draw on and would be great if he could turn that into coaching. Then there's Martin Crowe who was one of the best brains nz cricket has ever had, though I doubt they could prize him out of his Sky TV position. Shane Warne, is another guy I think would make a brilliant coach, though I doubt he'd ever be available to coach a team like NZ. If it was me I'd be letting Buchannan go before Wright, and that would be the solution.

Posted by Bishop on (May 30, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

Stephen Fleming has one of the best cricketing minds of the modern era. During his playing days he was widely regarded as the world's best captain with tactical nous second to none. The success he had with a team of (largely) journeymen players is testament to that, especially the 0-0 drawn series in Australia where he simply out-thought the highly-fancied Australian team. I was deeply saddened at the mishandling of the end of his brilliant career by NZC, and am disappointed he will not be the coach of the Black Caps, however I respect and admire him for putting his family first. Hopefully NZC can still find some role for him to play which may not involve touring - after all, he can still watch videotapes and advise on opposition shortcomings.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

I'm sure it is indeed his young family who are first priority, but even when they're not, he's not going to work with Buchannan. Him, combined with Vaughan have done nothing but ruin the hard work of others. No coach in their right mind would waste time in the NZ Set up, taking orders from a guy who made his name captaining a side anybody could have won with, and taking selection advise from a lawn bowls expert with grade cricket experience.

While being a good player is no indication of coaching ability, it does add credibility...which Littlejohn does not have. Add Buchannan to the mix and I think we'll end up with a 5th string coach applying and getting it since the top guys won't want the job.

To those who think Flem is just after the money - nothing wrong with that. He has a family to think of...but I doubt this is the main decider for not taking this job.

Posted by mohamedamin on (May 29, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

The money hes making in IPl is not close to maybe what NZC would give him...another money after........

Posted by PureTom on (May 29, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

I think that when (more likely than if) Fleming turns to international coaching he will be of the Andy Flower/Gary Kirsten type of coach. The new generation/style and hugely succesful.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

Buchanan will drive away not only success but also talent.

Posted by MAK123 on (May 29, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

Probably Steve knows he is not a coaching material. As for the Chinnai Super Kings, well, they are a bunch of extremely talented and proven professionals and therefore do not need a coach per se. Flemm is getting this good name because of his good nature and the fact that Chinnai keep on winning from difficult situations. Would love to see him playing once in a while though:-)

Posted by anver777 on (May 29, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Just 39, coaching is a new chapter for Fleming & not jumping the gun, so rightly he's ruling himself out of International scene for the moment until he gains some experience at various level of coaching

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

He would make a great coach. If he captained a better side Australia and South Africa would have been fighting for the scraps with NZ dominating. He consistently made fools of both Ponting and Smith by completely outcaptaining them. Legendary cricketer.

Posted by aahahaa on (May 29, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

NZ has a young captain a good set of young batsmen and bowlers coming through. If you don't get rid of Buchanan now, you might not see the best of these players. learn from the Windies, do not put the wrong men in charge. Not only you need good players to make up a strong team but you also need a very competent support staff including the coach and the selection committee.

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