Craig McMillan has been named New Zealand's batting coach for the upcoming tour of the West Indies. In April the position was vacated by Bob Carter, who quit to take up a high-performance role in New Zealand's setup, and although McMillan's appointment is temporary at this stage, he could earn the job full-time if he impresses on the Caribbean tour.
McMillan, 37, played 55 Tests and 197 one-day internationals for New Zealand between 1997 and 2007, and since his retirement has worked in both commentary and coaching. He was the batting coach for Canterbury when they won the Plunket Shield last season and worked with New Zealand during the Wellington Test against West Indies in December when Carter was absent.
"It's a career path I'm looking forward to pursuing," McMillan told the Dominion Post this week. "I really enjoyed those few days and that's part of the reason why I applied. It's a great group of guys with a strong work ethic and they want to improve."
Lindsay Crocker, the head of cricket with NZC, said McMillan was the right man for the job. "We had a number of strong applicants from New Zealand and abroad, but overall we felt that Craig was the best fit for the role," Crocker said.
"Apart from being a former player himself, Craig's worked with Canterbury Cricket and also spent some time in the Black Caps' camp. His commentary work has also given him extensive knowledge of both the Black Caps and West Indies squads and those qualities placed him ahead of the other candidates."
A full-time batting coach will be named after the end of the West Indies tour. New Zealand fly to the Caribbean in late May for three Tests and two Twenty20 internationals.