NZ vs WI: New Zealand coach supports Williamson’s paternity leave decision, says “Other things are much more important”

New Zealand head coach Garry Stead is perfectly fine with skipper Kane Williamson going on paternity leave later this month and said ‘other things are much more important’ than cricket.

Williamson’s partner Sarah Raheem is due to give birth to their first child later this month. Kiwis currently have a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series against West Indies after winning the first Test by an innings and 134 runs. After that Blackcaps are scheduled to host Pakistan for three T20Is and two Tests, the first T20I will commence on December 18.

Stead is fine with Williamson missing ‘some matches’ for the side while fulfilling his parenting duties.

“Worst case scenario, Kane misses some matches. As a dad, as a parent, you only get that opportunity once in your life to be there for your (first) child’s birth and I know that it’s important for Kane too. At the end of the day, we play cricket, and other things are much more important. And that is much more important,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Stead as saying.

Stead further pointed out that the emergence of some players, Kyle Jamieson in particular, had made life easier for team management.

“With Colin (de Grandhomme) not being available, it (Jamieson’s all-round performance) gave us some potential to look at things in a different way. Kyle Jamieson’s batting has really come on and whilst it’s not in the Colin de Grandhomme category now, I guess it’s something that we hope for that he will keep striving towards being there in the future,” Stead said.

“(It was) a very clinical performance throughout, when you lose the toss and get inserted… there’s always a few nerves about how much the wicket will do. I thought the pitch played really well throughout — it kept good bounce throughout and that was pleasing for us,” he added