Canterbury appoint Stead as head coach

Gary Stead, the former New Zealand batsman, has been appointed the High Performance director and head coach of the Canterbury team. Stead replaces Bob Carter, who has joined the New Zealand coaching staff under Mike Hesson.

Stead, who played five Tests in 1999 against India, South Africa and West Indies, said he was "excited and proud" to be given the job. He is currently in Sri Lanka as the coach of New Zealand team playing the Women's World Twenty20. The new assignment will be his first coaching stint in first-class cricket and with a men's team.

Lee Germon, the Canterbury Cricket chief executive, said that Stead was a stand-out applicant and his lack of experience in four-day cricket was "discussed thoroughly".

"When we scoped this role we were determined to find a top quality candidate who could not only coach our Wizards side but develop and implement a high performance system and environment for our elite athletes," Germon said.

"Gary brings top-level coaching and playing experience, a varied background in the high performance area of our sport and an impressive playing record for Canterbury and New Zealand. He is about to complete the prestigious coach accelerator programme and is very highly regarded by both players and fellow coaches.''

Stead's first-class career spanned 14 years, during which he scored 4984 runs with 10 centuries.