Mentor Malan's on the move. PHOTOSPORT

Malan on the move

After having led the Central Stags to five national trophies, coach Heinrich Malan is swapping green for blue after having been named as the Auckland Aces' new head coach.

Malan stepped down from the Stags on a high after completing the Plunket Shield-Burger King Super Smash double in 2018/19, and takes over the Aces role from departing longtime coach Mark O'Donnell.

A former first-class cricketer in South Africa, Malan arrived in New Zealand to coach the Stags in 2013, winning The Ford Trophy twice (2015 and 2016), Plunket Shield twice (2018 and 2019) and in February the Burger King Super Smash for the first time during his six summers with the team.

Well regarded for his ability in developing Domestic players into Internationals, Malan has also been an NZC New Zealand A coach for the past two seasons, and in the most recent season acted as the BLACKCAPS' stand-in batting coach during the home ODI Series with Bangladesh.

Auckland Cricket Chief Executive Iain Laxon said Malan impressed the selection panel "with his vision of how he intends to take the Aces and entire High Performance department forward, and build on the positive culture that already exists. He’s already had considerable success on the New Zealand domestic scene, and we look forward to him bringing that ability into the Auckland environment.”

Malan said he sees the move as "a great opportunity to work with an exciting squad that has shown some real potential over the past few seasons."

Meanwhile, Otago Volts head coach Rob Walter has been confirmed for a further two seasons. Walter guided the Volts to a Ford Trophy home grand final this season, having previously coached the Titans (South Africa) to four titles in three seasons, as well as having spent seven seasons with the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL and four years as Assistant Coach for South Africa's Proteas.

Central Districts Cricket Association is yet to name Malan's successor.

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