Edgar, Watling to coach Firebirds

Two former BLACKCAPS will take over the vacated Wellington Firebirds head coach role, with Bruce Edgar in charge of the Plunket Shield squad and BJ Watling guiding the way in white-ball cricket.

Edgar is no stranger to the squad, the longtime Wellington rep having coached his former Major Association in the past; while lifelong Northern Districts rep Watling will shift to the capital to make his Domestic coaching debut.

Meanwhile, Toby Radford has also joined the Firebirds as their specialist batting coach.

Watling retired last year from a glittering playing career in which he represented the BLACKCAPS in all three formats and lifted the inaugural World Test Championship during his 2021 swansong.

The 75-Test wicketkeeper-batsman had already been preparing for a coaching career and has most recently worked as Northern Districts' Network Coach in Waikato, and as Northern Districts A head coach.

“I’m obviously pretty excited," said Watling. "This is a great opportunity for me and family.

“I’ve played against the Firebirds a fair bit in my time and, watching them over the past few seasons, I’ve certainly been impressed with the calibre of players, and they’re starting to produce BLACKCAPS regularly now which is exciting."

Watling will also join Edgar as support coach for the Firebirds in red-ball cricket, and will also offer specialist wicketkeeping coaching across the Firebirds, Blaze, and Cricket Wellington pathway teams.

Radford joins Cricket Wellington following his role as Head of High Performance at Bangladesh Cricket.

The former Middlesex and Sussex County cricketer previously spent 10 years as batting coach and assistant coach of the West Indies men’s team, and was part of the squad that lifted the ICC T20 World Cup in 2012.

He has previously held head coach roles in England with Glamorgan and Middlesex, where he lifted the T20 Cup in 2008.

An expert in developing young players, Radford also launched the Middlesex Cricket Academy in 2003 which the ECB subsequently used as their Academy blueprint.

“I have long admired the professionalism and quality of New Zealand cricket and cricketers and the opportunity for me to work with such a prestigious and successful side as the Wellington Firebirds excites me greatly," he said.

Bruce Edgar | PHOTOSPORT

Edgar, a 39-Test veteran and former BLACKCAPS selector, has been appointed Cricket Wellington Director of Cricket until the end of the 2022/23 season and returns to Cricket Wellington for the first time in a full-time capacity since stepping down as Firebirds head coach at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Edgar will step down as President of Cricket Wellington for the role, which will focus on developing playing and coaching talent.

Cricket Wellington will confirm the appointment of a specialist bowling coach in the coming weeks.


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