Earlier this week, he coached Chennai Super Kings to their fourth IPL title
“There’s a little bit of time before my MIQ spot and it’s just a great opportunity,” Fleming told NZC’s in-house media team in Dubai. “We’ve talked for a while about sharing ideas and coming into the camp and watching these players who I’m a big fan of. [I’m] very lucky to have that opportunity.
“I’m doing five days now pre-World Cup and talk about the conditions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which we [Super Kings] have been playing in, and also cast an eye over and get some ideas back from him [Stead]. So, it’s a great opportunity, very proud to get the Black Caps kit back on as well. So, straight into it and will be looking forward to it.”
Having recently been around the venues in the UAE, Fleming was particularly eager to work with Stead and pass his inputs to the New Zealand squad.
“The T20 is what I’ve had my head into for so long now,” Fleming said. “With the Black Caps performing well and the World Cup around the corner, to share some of those experiences and get a bit closer to some of these guys… From coaching the best players around the world you learn some lessons. So, it’s just passing on the knowledge and being a fan and being around [the team]. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a good coaching group. There’s a lot of experience there and I’ll get some stuff come back my way as well. So, it’s a win-win.”
Fleming also delivered a glowing endorsement of New Zealand’s depth and urged them to adjust their games to the slow, low conditions in the UAE.
“It’s a good squad,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent, we’ve never had as much talent as this within New Zealand cricket, so getting the right balance and the way you want to play the game is very important. But the skillset, and what these guys put out and entertain us with, is very high.
“Coming to grips with these conditions will be the challenge in warm-up games, and there’s a couple of key games first up. So dealing with pressure and starting the tournament well, I think, is a priority.”
“I’ve had enough of him actually (laughs),” Santner said of Fleming. “No, he’s obviously had a wealth of experience, he’s been at Chennai [Super Kings] for 14 years, I think, and he has seen a lot of T20 cricket. I think trying to bring some of those characteristics that he has got and he has obviously got a pretty good record as a coach in franchise cricket, so he’ll bring in some good stuff.”
New Zealand will play two more warm-up games against Australia and England before they face Pakistan in the main tournament in Sharjah on October 26.
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo