Wellington Firebirds appoint former Kiwis goaltender BJ Watling as white ball head coach
Updated: 09 June 2022 23:00 STI
Wellington [New Zealand]June 09 (ANI): Former New Zealand batsman-wicketkeeper BJ Watling has been appointed head white ball coach of the first-class Wellington Firebirds team.
“BJ Watling has been named head white ball coach of the Wellington Firebirds, alongside world renowned batting coach Toby Radford who joins as specialist batting coach,” a team statement read. .
Watling is appointed to his first head coaching role since retiring from a glittering playing career in which he represented the Blackcaps in all three formats and won the inaugural Test World Championship Last year.
The 75 Test wicketkeeper prepared for a coaching career throughout his playing days and since retiring has worked as a Northern District network coach in the Waikato and as a district head coach north a.
“I’m obviously very excited, it’s a great opportunity for me and my family. I’ve played against the Firebirds quite a bit in my time and watching them over the past few seasons I’ve certainly been impressed with the caliber of players they have and they’re starting to produce blackcaps consistently, which is exciting,” Watling said.
“It’s my first head coaching role at this level, so there will be a lot of challenges, which is good, and I’m looking forward to working with a very talented group. I know Bruce (Edgar) well and he is a great coach, with lots of experience and i will be leaning on him for support throughout the season, we have a great group of support staff so i am looking forward to working and learning of them,” he added.
Watling will join Bruce Edgar as a support coach for the Firebirds in red ball cricket and will also provide specialist wicket-keeping training in the Firebirds, Blaze and Cricket Wellington lane teams.
Radford joins Cricket Wellington after completing his role as High Performance Manager at Bangladesh Cricket.
The former Middlesex and Sussex County cricketer spent 10 years as batting coach and assistant coach for the West Indies men’s team and was part of the team that won the ICC World Cup T20 in 2012.
He previously held head coaching roles in England with Glamorgan and Middlesex, where he won the T20 Cup in 2008.
An expert in developing young players, Radford launched the Middlesex Cricket Academy in 2003, which the ECB later used as a model academy.
He has also worked to set up academies in the West Indies and Bangladesh and has experience coaching age group England sides supporting the England Young Lions as a batting coach during of the 2022 U19 World Cup where they finished second.
“I am delighted to join Cricket Wellington and look forward to working with all the staff and players. I have long admired the professionalism and quality of New Zealand cricket and cricketers and the opportunity for me to working with such a prestigious and successful team as the Wellington Firebirds really excites me,” said Radford.
“I can’t wait to get out and work with everyone in one of the best places in the world!” he added.
Cricket Wellington CEO Cam Mitchell said he was confident the additions of Watling and Radford would help Cricket Wellington and the Firebirds continue their recent run of success.
“We are extremely delighted to welcome BJ and Toby to Cricket Wellington. The addition of the two coaches shows a commitment to our desire to give our players the best opportunity to fulfill their potential and hopefully continue to compete. on the international stage,” Mitchell said.
“We have no doubt that BJ will be a successful elite coach, and we are happy to be able to help support his career development. His work ethic, strong values and recent playing experience will be so valuable to our youngster. group of players, and his solid track record of success as a player shows what we are trying to achieve,”
The CEO said Toby’s experience as a coach is phenomenal and he will add tremendous value to the team’s high performance structure.
“He has been successful at the highest level all over the world and we know our players will benefit greatly from working with Toby. This is a very exciting time for Cricket Wellington and the Firebirds, and we are seeing the two appointments, plus the addition of Bruce Edgar, as key elements in building on our recent success,” he added.
Cricket Wellington will confirm the appointment of a specialist bowling coach in the coming weeks. (ANI)