Birmingham Phoenix appoint Daniel Vettori as men's head coach
Former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori has been appointed as the head coach of the Birmingham Phoenix (men's team) in The Hundred. The decision comes post Andrew McDonald's appointment as a full-time head coach for the Australia men's cricket team. McDonald had held the supreme position for the Phoenix in the inaugural edition in 2021. Phoenix finished as the runners-up in The Hundred.
- Initially, Vettori was the assistant coach for Birmingham Phoenix.
- He took up the role as the interim head coach in the absence of McDonald.
- The latter had commitments with the Aussie side as an assistant coach.
- Vettori brings in a wealth of experience both as a cricketer and a coach.
- All in all, Vettori being given the full-time responsibility is a welcoming move.
The former NZ skipper has been the coach of Barbados Royals (CPL), Brisbane Heat (BBL), and Middlesex (Vitality Blast). He also served as the head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL. However, he was sacked in 2018 post RCB's poor run in the lucrative tournament. Lately, Vettori was the spin-bowling coach for the Bangladesh cricket team from 2019 to 2021.
"I absolutely loved my time working with the Birmingham Phoenix squad as head coach last summer, so taking on the role on a permanent basis was a very easy decision," said Vettori. He added that they made rapid strides as a unit in the inaugural season. Vettori asserted that they have a stronger squad in hand than the last edition.
The Kiwi veteran made 113 Test appearances. He amassed 4,531 runs and struck six hundreds and 23 fifties. He claimed the second-most wickets in NZ Test team history (362). Across 295 ODIs, Vettori racked up 2,253 runs. He pocketed 305 wickets at 31.71. He snatched eight four-fers and two five-fers. In 34 T20Is, the slow left-arm orthodox affected 38 dismissals at 19.68.
It was a dominating show by the Phoenix in 2021. They won six of their eight matches in the league stage to finish atop the standings. However, Phoenix (136/5) succumbed to the Southern Brave by 32 runs in the final. They have a solid team this time around with Kane Richardson, Adam Milne, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, and Liam Livingstone to name a few.
The Hundred will be a one-month-long affair. It will be held between August 3-September 3. The season opener will witness inaugural champions Southern Brave taking on the Welsh Fire at the Rose Bowl. The last edition's runner-up Birmingham Phoenix will kickstart their campaign against Trent Rockets on August 4. Trent Bridge will host the much-coveted encounter.