A day after securing a fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) title with the Chennai Super Kings, Stephen Fleming has joined the New Zealand coaching staff in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

Fleming has not held an official role with the New Zealand side since retiring from Test cricket in 2008. In the meantime, he has emerged as one of the most successful coaches in franchise T20 cricket, having worked with CSK and the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL).

“There’s a little bit of time before my MIQ (Managed Isolation Quarantine) spot and it’s a great opportunity,” Fleming told NZ Cricket media team in Dubai. “We’ve talked for a while about sharing ideas and coming into the camp. Just watching these players who I’m a big fan of. I am very lucky to have that opportunity.

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“I’m doing five days now pre-World Cup. We have talked about the conditions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which we [Chennai Super Kings] had been playing in, and also got some ideas back from him [Stead].”

New Zealand is placed in Group 2, which also includes former champions India and Pakistan. The Black Caps will play two games each in Sharjah and Dubai where pitches became sluggish and slowed down at the business end of IPL 2021.

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According to Fleming, coming to grips with these conditions will be the challenge in warm-up games. He also praised the depth of talent in New Zealand cricket. “It’s a good squad. We’ve never had as much talent as this within New Zealand Cricket, so getting the right balance and the way you want to play the game is very important. The skill set and what these guys put out, and entertain us with, is very high,” Fleming said.

“With the Black Caps performing well and the World Cup around the corner, to share some of those experiences and get a bit closer to some of these guys… From coaching the best players around the world, you learn some lessons. So, it’s just passing on the knowledge. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a good coaching group. There’s a lot of experience and I’ll get some stuff come back my way as well. So, it’s a win-win.”

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