Stephen Fleming

Stephen Paul Fleming ONZM (born 1 April 1973) is a former New Zealand cricket coach and former captain of the New Zealand national cricket team, who is the current head coach of IPL team Chennai Super Kings. He is considered one of the greatest batsmen for New Zealand national cricket team.

Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming ONZM (cropped).jpg
Fleming in 2011
Personal information
Full nameStephen Paul Fleming
Born (1973-04-01) 1 April 1973 (age 48)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
BowlingRight-arm medium
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 188)19 March 1994 v India
Last Test22 March 2008 v England
ODI debut (cap 88)25 March 1994 v India
Last ODI24 April 2007 v Sri Lanka
ODI shirt no.7
T20I debut (cap 3)17 February 2005 v Australia
Last T20I26 December 2006 v Sri Lanka
Domestic team information
2008Chennai Super Kings
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 111 280 247 460
Runs scored 7,172 8,037 16,409 14,019
Batting average 40.06 32.40 43.87 35.13
100s/50s 9/46 8/49 35/93 22/86
Top score 274* 134* 274* 139*
Balls bowled 29 102 35
Wickets 1 0 2
Bowling average 28.00 15.50
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0
Best bowling 1/8 1/3
Catches/stumpings 171/– 133/– 340/– 225/–
Source: Cricinfo, 4 May 2017

Known for his astute tactical abilities, he is New Zealand's second-most capped Test player with 111 appearances. He is also the team's longest-serving and most successful captain,[1][2] having led the side to 28 victories and having won Test series against India, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

He is the winning captain of the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy, which is New Zealand's only ICC trophy till date in the ODI format.[3] Fleming captained New Zealand in the historic first Twenty20 International of the world, which was played against Australia in 2005.[4]

He retired from international cricket on 26 March 2008. Fleming played in the 2008 Indian Premier League for the Chennai Super Kings after being signed for US$350,000 and became the team's coach from 2009.[5] In February 2015 he was signed as coach of the Melbourne Stars of the Big Bash League.[6] On 19 January 2018 he resumed his duties as head coach of the Chennai Super Kings in 2018 Indian Premier League season again, after the team was barred from playing in the tournament for two seasons. He coached the Rising Pune Supergiant during this time.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Fleming is the son of Pauline Fleming and Gary Kirk. Pauline raised him as a single mother, and he did not meet his father until he was 16, although Kirk had always maintained a keen interest in his son's progress. Both Kirk and Fleming played senior rugby and captained Cashmere High's first XV.[8]

On 9 May 2007, Fleming married his long-term partner Kelly Payne in a ceremony held in Wellington. The couple had a daughter, born in 2006, and a son, in 2008.[9] He had to return to New Zealand just before the semifinals of the IPL tournament for the birth of his second child.

Fleming was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to cricket, in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours.[10]

Domestic careerEdit

Fleming has played county cricket in England for Middlesex, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. He captained Nottinghamshire to County Championship victory in 2005, their first Championship title in 18 years.

There was speculation in 2007 that he might join the controversial Indian Twenty20 league, the Indian Cricket League.[citation needed] However it turned out to be unfounded and he later joined the 'official' Indian Twenty20 league, the Indian Premier League, and played for the Chennai Super Kings in the league's initial incarnation.

International careerEdit

A left-handed batsman, Fleming made his Test debut in March 1994 against India winning the Man of the Match award on debut after scoring 92. In 1995 he survived controversy when he was caught and admitted to smoking marijuana with teammates Matthew Hart and Dion Nash while on tour at their hotel.[11] In England's tour of New Zealand in 1996/97 he scored his maiden Test century in the First Test at Auckland. In the Third Test of the tour he took over the captaincy from Lee Germon becoming New Zealand's youngest captain at 23 years and 321 days.


He was particularly noted for his captaincy, having been praised from the likes of Shane Warne as the "best captain in world cricket"[12] and most recently, Graeme Swann who said that Fleming is one of the two true leaders that he's ever seen, alongside Andrew Strauss.[citation needed]

Fleming became New Zealand's most successful captain in September 2000 with a victory over Zimbabwe. This was the 12th win under his captaincy overtaking Geoff Howarth. Fleming was regarded by some as an underperformer with the bat, with one of the worst 50 to 100 conversion ratios in world cricket. However, since the 2003 tour of Sri Lanka, Fleming started to gain form, with 274 not out against Sri Lanka – when he declared rather than staying to reach 300 which would have been a record in New Zealand cricket history.

Arguably Fleming's best ODI innings was his unbeaten 134 to help New Zealand beat hosts South Africa in the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Chasing a rain adjusted target of 229 off 39 overs, Fleming hit 134 off just 132 deliveries as New Zealand cruised to a 9-wicket victory over a team they had struggled against in the past.

Fleming adjusting the field at Nottinghamshire. Fleming was regarded as one of the world's best cricket captains.

In the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town in April 2006, Fleming scored his 3rd Test double-century and became the first New Zealander to achieve this feat. Fleming scored 262 as he and Wellington teammate James Franklin put 256 runs for the 8th wicket, the highest partnership to date in Tests between New Zealand and South Africa. It is also a New Zealand record for the 8th wicket against any country.

On 25 October 2006, Fleming captained his country for the 194th time in an ODI – a world record, overtaking Arjuna Ranatunga. He played well throughout the 2007 World Cup scoring 353 runs at an average of 39.22 and was New Zealand's second highest run scorer in the tournament. He failed in the semi-final against Sri Lanka scoring just 1 off 4 balls as New Zealand went on to lose the match and crashed out of the tournament. On 24 April 2007, Fleming resigned as the ODI captain of the Blackcaps. The announcement was made in a post-match press conference held after the Semi-Final defeat to Sri Lanka in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.[13] After Fleming's last match as captain, Mahela Jayawardene added a tribute. "Stephen's been a great leader for New Zealand for some time, and you could learn a lot from him". Over a decade of leading the side he finished with 218 games, 98 wins, 106 losses.

As of April 2007, Fleming had captained New Zealand in 80 Test matches—a New Zealand record and the second highest number worldwide .[14] As a fielder Fleming took over 170 catches, giving him the 3rd highest Test aggregate for a non-wicketkeeper.[15]


In September 2007, Fleming was replaced by Daniel Vettori as the New Zealand Test captain. He also left English county Nottinghamshire after three years as captain. In February 2008 Fleming ended speculation and confirmed his retirement from the New Zealand team at the end of England's 2008 tour of New Zealand to spend more time with his family, and to play for the Indian Premier League.[2]

He played well in his final series, scoring 297 in six innings. In the first innings of the second test against England, he scored his 7000th run in his 110th match. In his final test at, Napier, he scored half-centuries in both innings to ensure that he finished with a Test match average of over 40 (40.06).

Playing styleEdit

Fleming was an elegant left handed batsman and played shots such as the flick off the pads, straight drive, cover drive and cut shots. He was also a clever captain and his field placings for many batsmen like Damien Martyn at point and aggressive captaincy made the opposition struggle for their runs. He was also a prolific slip catcher and fielded well in close-in positions.

After cricketEdit

Indian Premier LeagueEdit

Fleming played for the Chennai Super Kings in the 2008 Indian Premier League after being signed for US$350,000. He played 10 matches and scored 196 runs at an average of 21.77 with a highest score of 45. He was appointed as coach of the Chennai Super Kings in 2009 and retired as a player from the team. He had a very successful stint with the team winning the IPL 2010, CLT20 2010 and IPL 2011. He coached Chennai Super Kings for 6 years before it got suspended from IPL for two years according to the decision of the Justice RM Lodha committee. In IPL 2016 he became the coach of Rising Pune Supergiants.

In IPL 2018, he returned as Coach of Chennai Super Kings after the team's suspension ended, and helped them to win the tournament that year. He coached and managed the side with a good rapport with the team captain MS Dhoni. Before the tournament started, the team was accused by many of being too old for the T20 format. However, by his own admission, the highly intelligent and experienced team was vindicated by their clinical batting to win critical moments, and turned out several match winning performances to close out games from nearly impossible positions,.

Business interestsEdit

Fleming has since been involved in setting up CricHQ with the company's CEO Simon Baker and former New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum. Fleming is one of 160 investors and a director in the company. Having met Simon Baker with Brendon McCullum he commented that CricHQ "clicked with us both as a business and a means of giving back to the game that had given us so much." The cricket competition management software and live scoring platform manages the administration of cricket test countries New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Zimbabwe with 49 of 105 national governing bodies also using its services from the club level upwards. In June 2015 it raised US$10m from Singapore private equity firm Tembusu Partners to expand globally.[16]

Team CricketEdit

Fleming had coached and captained the T20 Black Clash representing Team Cricket vs Team Rugby. On 17 January 2020, Fleming was bowled out by Hurricanes Unity Back - Jordie Barrett for a duck. Eventually Team Cricket won by 2 runs.


International recordsEdit

  • Second most capped ODI Captain (218 matches as of 24 April 2017) just behind Ricky Ponting[17]
  • The most catches in Tests by a fielder in a calendar year with 28 in 1997[18]
  • First batsman to score nervous 90 on ODI debut[19]
  • He holds the record for the second highest batting strike rate in a test innings(281.81)[20]

National recordsEdit

  • Second most Test runs and matches for a New Zealander (7172 and 111)
  • Most Test ODI matches played by a New Zealander (111 and 280)
  • Most catches by a New Zealander in Test and ODI cricket (171 and 132)
  • Most capped Test Captain for New Zealand (80 matches)
  • Most capped ODI Captain for New Zealand (218 matches)
An innings-by-innings breakdown of Fleming's Test match batting career, showing runs scored (red bars) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line).


  1. ^ "Top 10 Most Successful Cricket Captains of All Time". 27 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Fleming to end New Zealand career". BBC Sport. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Magnificent Cairns steers New Zealand to great triumph". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Ponting leads as Kasprowicz follows". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  5. ^ Article regarding New Zealand Cricketers in the IPL auction Cricinfo, retrieved 25 March 2008
  6. ^ "Stephen Fleming named Melbourne Stars coach". 3 News. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Stephen Fleming appointed as head coach of CSK in 2018 IPL". deccan chronicle. 19 January 2018.
  8. ^ The Age, 7 November 2004. "Fleming's father comes out of the shadows". Retrieved 11 May 2016
  9. ^ Shepheard, Nicola (12 May 2007). "Fleming goes all out to wed in secret" – via
  10. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2011". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Fleming caught out for a smoke". The New Zealand Herald. 6 November 2004. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  12. ^ James, Steve (8 April 2007). "Spotlight on Stephen Fleming: Boss approved". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  13. ^ "Fleming resigns as ODI captain". Cricinfo. 24 April 2007.
  14. ^ "Records – Test matches – Individual records (captains, players, umpires) – Most matches as captain – ESPN Cricinfo".
  15. ^ "Records – Test matches – Fielding records – Most catches in career – ESPN Cricinfo".
  16. ^ Hutching, Gerard (16 June 2015). "Singaporean firm invests US$10m in New Zealand cricket tech company". Stuff. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Records – One-Day Internationals – Individual records (captains, players, umpires) – Most matches as captain – ESPN Cricinfo".
  18. ^ "Fielders Taking 15 Catches in a Calendar Year".
  19. ^ "ninety on ODI debut". cricinfo.
  20. ^ "highest batting strike rates in a test innings". cricinfo.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Lee Germon
New Zealand national cricket captain
Succeeded by
Daniel Vettori
Preceded by
Kepler Wessels
Chennai Super Kings Coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Greg Shipperd
Melbourne Stars Coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jason Gallian
Nottinghamshire County cricket captain
Succeeded by
Chris Read