New Zealand's Stephen Fleming announced his resignation as captain of his country's one-day team after the 81-run defeat by Sri Lanka in the World Cup semi-finals in Kingston on Tuesday. But Fleming said he wants to continue playing in the side and stay in charge of the Test team.
The 34-year-old opening batsman had been in charge for 10 years, leading his country in 218 one-day internationals, including three World Cups and two semifinals. “I want to keep playing but I'm standing down as captain of the one-day side," Fleming, who won 98 and lost 106 one-dayers as skipper, told reporters.
"I still want to captain the Test side," added Fleming, who became skipper in the longer format at the same time as the one-day team. "I've only just turned 34 and I think I've still got some good batting years ahead of me." He added: "I'd like to keep playing one-day cricket but as a batsman. In some way your energy levels are sapped when you captain the side. I want to play that with a fresh mind and finish off my career with some stats that I think I'm worth," said Fleming.
"Obviously, I'd dreamed the dream of lifting the Cup and saying 'thanks very much' but it's not to be," said Fleming after New Zealand lost their fifth semifinal in the tournament. It's been mapped out for some time. But from a professional point of view, it's important we get some fresh ideas. I'm very proud of what we've achieved. Whoever takes over, I want to be around. I've no problems stepping back."
Asked, who his successor should be, Fleming mentioned experienced left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, still only 28, as a possible candidate. "The way we've groomed Daniel Vettori for this tournament, he will certainly come into discussion."
However, with coach John Bracewell's contract now up for review, Fleming added: "But there's going to be a lot of change within New Zealand cricket. I'm not sure what John's doing, the selectors are doing, so it's probably a bit presumptuous to recommend Daniel but he's done a fine job up to this point."
Fleming, widely regarded as one of the best tacticians currently in world cricket, said he's enjoyed the "subtleties" of captaincy. "Being able to fend the media off for 10 years is a feather in the cap," he joked. "But when you work players out, that's what I get the most joy from."