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WATCH: New coach for Wellington Blaze

Dec 16th, 2016 | By | Category: Uncategorized

A Wellington cricket legend is back at the Basin this summer with Matthew Bell taking over as coach of the Wellington Blaze.

The former Wellington Firebird just had his run-scoring record broken by former teammate Luke Woodcock, but is now firmly focused on his coaching career.

It’s a busy career too, as Bell juggles his Blaze duties with jobs as the White Ferns batting coach and the head coach at local club North City, but he appears to be handling it well.

“I’ve got a good support staff around me, [my dad] has taken control over the last two or three months and really helped me out at the club,” says the former opening batsman.

Bell is keeping it simple for his players, who include international stars Sophie Devine and Rachel Preist.

“The goals are just simply to play good cricket and with that if the girls put in some good performances, a few of them are on the fringes of being selected for New Zealand.”

He has taken over at an exciting time for women’s cricket, with new Twenty20 leagues in Australia and England bringing more money to the game than ever before.

The increased professionalism and drive those opportunities bring has been good for the game, but the rapid changes in the game challenge coaches like Bell to keep up.

“We’re sort of at the same time as the players just finding new ground and finding out what works for us as a group,” he says.

That collaborative intent seems to be working.

Blaze player Suzie McDonald says Bell’s positivity and willingness to learn is appreciated by the team.

“Any sort of question you can throw at him he’ll come up with an answer and if he doesn’t know the answer he’ll go away and come back with something that is always going to be helpful, and the girls appreciate the positive energy he brings.”

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is a Radio Journalist at Newswire.co.nz, Whitireia Journalism School.
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