- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 4 November 2020, 11:04AM
By: Dylan Cleaver
Former wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi has been appointed Black Caps batting coach.
The Dannevirke-born, Australian raised Ronchi replaces Peter Fulton who left the role in July.
Ronchi is no stranger to the Black Caps set-up, having joined the coaching staff for last year's World Cup.
The 39-year-old played the last of his ODIs for New Zealand in 2017, though he did play a T20I for a World XI against the West Indies a year later. That gave him the distinction of having represented three teams in a fully fledged international match - Australia, for whom he played three T20Is and four ODIs, New Zealand, where he played the bulk of his international career in white-ball cricket, and a World XI.
Ronchi did play four tests for New Zealand and might have considered himself unlucky not to play more, averaging close to 40 in eight innings, including a brilliant 88 on debut when New Zealand beat England at Leeds in 2015.
An effortless striker of the ball, Ronchi was a fast-scoring lower middle-order player with an impetuous streak that sometimes curtailed promising starts.
He signalled clearly his intention to move into coaching when he finished his career. Ronchi has been involved with Cricket Wellington's development programmes and was also a player-coach with Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League earlier this year.
Ronchi said he couldn't wait to get started in two weeks time.
"I'm absolutely pumped," he enthused. "I've really enjoyed being back with the team in recent seasons and it's exciting to be given the opportunity full-time this summer.
"Getting the chance to continue working with our batsmen is a great honour and I'm looking forward to seeing how I can help improve their games and best prepare them to perform at the highest level."
NZ Cricket GM High Performance Cricket Bryan Stronach said Ronchi's broad skill-set and past experiences with the team helped secure the job.
"Luke's got a very good cricket brain and is especially strong tactically," he said.
"He has a positive mindset and is good at building relationships but he's also not afraid to challenge people which is a really important aspect of coaching.
"There's no doubt that, alongside the batsmen, our wicketkeepers will also benefit from having Luke around."
Ross Taylor, New Zealand's all-time leading runs scorer, said Ronchi had the right credentials to succeed in the role.
"It's been great to have Luke back with the group in recent years and I'm personally really looking forward to working with him as batting coach... He's got a calm demeanour and already possesses many strong relationships within the group."
Ronchi finished his career with 16 first-class centuries and 796 dismissals in all formats.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission