McMillan to step down after World Cup

File photo.

BLACKCAPS batting coach Craig McMillan will step down after this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.

After almost five years in the role, McMillan said the time was right to move on when his contract ends at the conclusion of the tournament in June and July.

“It’s been an amazing experience and one I’ve immensely enjoyed,” McMillan said.

“To help coach the national team on the world stage has been a real honour and I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with so many good people and in such a great environment.

“I’d like to thank everyone at NZC and the BLACKCAPS, along with my friends and family for all their support through the ups and the downs.

“I’ll certainly miss the job, but I’m excited to pursue some other coaching opportunities and of course spend some more time at home with the family.”

The former New Zealand international was hired by Mike Hesson in 2014 and has contributed to a period of unprecedented success for the BLACKCAPS.

McMillan points to the 2015 World Cup and his work with the batsmen as highlights of his tenure.

“To be involved in such an incredible World Cup on home soil and see the way the country embraced the team was really special.

“It’s been a privilege to be able to work with the likes of Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor day-in and day-out and to see the records they’ve accomplished has been very satisfying; as has the development of younger players like Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls.”

NZC CEO David White acknowledged McMillan’s immense contribution to the BLACKCAPS.

“Just like in his playing days, Craig left no stone unturned in terms of preparation and gave his complete commitment to the role.

“Being the batting coach isn’t always an easy job, but if you look at the records his batsmen have set and the contributions they’ve made to some very good New Zealand wins and series victories, I think he should be very proud.”

BLACKCAPS captain Kane Williamson said it was McMillan’s character and commitment that stood out.

“Macca has a huge passion for the game and he’s constantly trying to challenge players to get better.

“He has a lot of cricket knowledge and will certainly be missed by the group, although maybe his fielding warm-ups on those cold mornings won’t be.”

McMillan is taking a short scheduled break through the three-game ODI series against Bangladesh, before returning for the three-Test series to end the home summer.

White said the planning for McMillan’s replacement would happen in due course with the new batting coach’s first assignment the Test tour of Sri Lanka in August.