Mark Greatbatch is the new coach of the New Zealand cricket team. He replaces Englishman Andy Moles, who quit the job in October.
Greatbatch, 46, was appointed after considering a long list of high-profile players from around the cricketing world. He will continue to share the work with skipper Daniel Vettori as he had been doing since Moles left.
Moles put in his papers after being at the helm for a year. During his tenure the team drew four Tests and lost three and were defeated in 10 out of 19 one-dayers.
Left-handed batsman Greatbatch played 41 Tests and 84 One-Day Internationals (ODI) between 1988-96. He scored 2,021 runs in 41 Tests at a modest average of 30.62 with three hundreds and ten 50s. He scored 2,206 runs in 84 ODIs at 28.28 with two hundreds and 13 fifties and became famous as one of the first known pinch-hitters in the limited-overs cricket.
Greatbatch, who is also a selector, will be in charge of developing batting while Vettori will still have a major say in selection of the team and strategy, media reports said.
Greatbatch will take charge of the side in the one-day series and one Test against Bangladesh next month before they take on the visiting Australians.
Seventh in Test rankings, New Zealand play two Tests, four one-day matches and two Twenty20 games against Australia.
Announcing the appointment Saturday, New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said a number of high-profile international options were considered before zeroing in on Greatbatch.
Former Australian batsman Darren Lehman was one of the candidates NZC looked as a batting consultant, but he said he wanted the coach's job.
"We had wide consultations as to how the team can progress without upsetting the leadership momentum," Vaughan said.
"Over the past 12 months the Black Caps team, under the captaincy of Daniel Vettori, has made significant advances in terms of developing a culture of individual accountability.
"I know Mark is strongly supportive of the way the team has progressed and will complement Daniel well."
Moles said he could not have continued once it was known that a couple of senior players had started doubting his ability to carry out the job.
Things might have been different, he said, if he had been told of the problem earlier.
"Over the 11 months that I've been around I had no inkling, no communication that there were problems until we got back after the Champions Trophy," he said.
"If I had got some feedback earlier, we may have been able to quell this problem and been aware of it."
But Vaughan insisted that player-power was not the reason for Moles' departure.