After a decade of overseeing the development of some of the Black Caps’ finest cricketers, Shane Jurgensen, the bowling coach, is preparing to bid farewell to the team. Following this year’s Cricket World Cup, Jurgensen will step down from his position to assume the role of head coach at Wellington, concluding his tenure as the longest-serving coach for the Black Caps.
Since his return in 2016 for his second stint, Jurgensen has played a pivotal role in New Zealand’s rise to become the number one ranked team across all three formats. Under his guidance, the team reached two limited-overs World Cup finals and emerged victorious in the World Test Championship in 2021.
The 47-year-old former first-class bowler expressed that the decision to move on was not an easy one. Jurgensen said, “It has truly been a privilege to be part of this team for nearly a quarter of my life. I have seen Tim Southee and Trent Boult as teenagers in 2008 and watched them grow into adults, husbands, and fathers.”
He further added, “This team has meant so much to me, and all I have ever wanted to do was make a contribution to help and support our people to become the best version of themselves. The Black Caps is a special environment which I will dearly miss, but I will leave with so many fond memories and lifelong friends.”
Jurgensen’s tenure has seen the development of an impressive group of seamers including Southee, Boult, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, and Adam Milne. Hailing from Queensland, Jurgensen, who now resides in Ōmokoroa, credited the allure of being a full-time head coach and the opportunity to spend more time with his family as influential factors in his decision. He expressed excitement about joining Cricket Wellington, an organization with great historical significance, and eagerly anticipates the forthcoming challenges.
Bryan Stronach, the high-performance manager at NZ Cricket, commended Jurgensen’s contribution to one of the most successful eras in the team’s history. Stronach stated, “Shane has been a constant source of stability and strength in the Black Caps environment. He is an exceptionally hard worker, a meticulous planner, and a fantastic team player who genuinely cares about people.”
Matt Henry, one of the bowlers who benefited from Jurgensen’s guidance, expressed that he will be dearly missed for various reasons. Henry praised Jurgensen’s coaching skills and emphasized the enjoyable experience of working with him. He fondly mentioned Jurgensen’s energetic and cheerful demeanor, as well as the delightful surprises brought by Jurgensen’s wife, Vanessa, who would provide baked goods during bowlers’ meetings.
The team looks forward to witnessing Jurgensen’s journey as a head coach and expresses excitement at the prospect of seeing him remain involved in the cricket scene. Jurgensen will officially assume his role as Wellington men’s coach on November 21.