Rao appointed Blaze assistant coach

The Wellington Blaze have appointed Mohit Rao as their new assistant coach for the 2020/21 season.

Rao will join current head coach Ivan Tissera and performance manager Robbie Kerr on the Blaze coaching staff as they look to defend their Dream11 Super Smash title and build on their promising showing in last year’s Hallyburton Johnstone Shield campaign.

Rao, who is also the current head coach of the Upper Hutt United men’s team, boasts a strong coaching resume.

He assisted former BLACKCAPS coach Mike Hesson as the assistant coach of the Otago Volts for two years before moving overseas to coach at the Hong Kong Cricket Club.

Rao moved to New Zealand from India in 2002 and began working with Otago Cricket in 2007, working his way through coaching their age-group teams before taking on the Volts assistant coach role in 2010.

He holds the New Zealand Cricket Level 3 coaching certificate and has most recently held a District Manager role at Poverty Bay Cricket Association in Gisborne where he oversaw the development of the game from grassroots cricket through to the region’s high-performance teams.

Rao relocated to Wellington in 2019 after two years back in India and last summer helped lead the Upper Hutt United senior men’s team to the Hazlett Trophy title, returning them to the Division 1 Pearce Cup competition for the 2020/21 season.

Rao said his appointment was a major step forward in his coaching career.

“I’m really excited to be welcomed into the Blaze family,’’ he said.

“It is clearly a highly professional set up led by Ivan and Robbie and the opportunity to work with five contracted WHITE FERNS, as well as some really talented up and coming players is something I couldn’t turn down.

“Ivan has done an awesome job with the team and the results from last season speak for themselves.

“We’ve already discussed plans to move forward and build on those successes which is really exciting and I’m looking forward to being able to play a part in more success.’’

Wellington Blaze head coach Ivan Tissera said he was delighted to welcome Mohit on to the Blaze coaching staff for the upcoming season.

“We’re really excited to bring another highly qualified coach into the Blaze environment as we look ahead to another important summer of cricket for the women’s game,’’ he said.

“Mohit will bring a huge amount of experience to the role, his CV speaks for itself and we are confident that he will be able to utilise that experience to continue to develop our players for the future.

“We were really happy with the level of coaches that applied for the position, and the number of strong applications from the Wellington region was particularly pleasing.

“We had over 50 applicants for the role which shows the level of interest in the women’s game in the Capital and it also shows just how much the game is growing with playing numbers and interest in coaching.”

Rao will begin his role with the Blaze when their 2020/21 season preparations get underway on August 1.


Article added: Tuesday 14 July 2020