New Zealand appoints Luke Ronchi as batting coach

Luke Ronchi was part of the New Zealand coaching staff in the ICC World Cup 2019 in England. He will be taking over from Peter Fulton.

Luke Ronchi has been appointed batting coach of the New Zealand cricket team.   -  FILE PHOTO/ REUTERS

Dual international wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi has been appointed batting coach of the New Zealand cricket team, starting with its imminent home series against the West Indies.

Ronchi was born in New Zealand but first played international cricket for Australia, appearing in four one-day and three Twenty20 internationals in 2008.

Ronchi was part of the New Zealand coaching staff at last year’s ICC World Cup in England and was confirmed as New Zealand’s full-time batting coach on Wednesday, taking over from Peter Fulton.

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"I’m absolutely pumped,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed being back with the team in recent seasons and it’s exciting to be given the opportunity full-time this summer.

"Getting the chance to continue working with our batsmen is a great honor and I’m looking forward to seeing how I can help improve their games and best prepare them to perform at the highest level.”

Injury concerns

New Zealand cricket coach Gary Stead will be anxiously awaiting the outcome of medical checks over the next week with six of his players nursing injuries as they prepare to face West Indies later this month.

Stead's side face the tourists, who are in isolation in a bio-secure facility in Christchurch for the next 10 days, in three Twenty20 internationals starting on November 27 before a two-test series begins on December 3.

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Stead's biggest concern is with his bowling unit. Pace spearhead Tim Southee (back), fellow pace bowlers Neil Wagner (groin/hip) and Matt Henry (broken thumb), and first-choice test spinner Ajaz Patel (calf) are all under a cloud. All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has foot injury while middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls has a calf strain.

“Injuries are always a concern and we're certainly monitoring each case closely with our medical staff,” Stead said in a statement on Wednesday.

With inputs from Reuters

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