New Zealand cricket team's longest-serving and most successful captain Stephen Fleming, who, also is the head coach of Indian Premier League, spends few months in India, every year.
Fleming (41) is currently visiting India as the ambassador of Education New Zealand. Fleming is here to promote New Zealand education department's campaign 'Think New'. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Kanchan Srivastava.
How different is this role of an ambassador of NZ education?
There is not much difference. Synergy between a student and a teacher is similar to a captain and his player. Like a teacher, who needs to pay attention to every student, even captain needs to formulate plans for each player. As a captain, I had to communicate effectively with every member of the team.
Similarly, as an ambassador of NZ, I am trying to communicate with young people. My job is to enthuse children and get people thinking about coming to New Zealand to study.
Why should one chose New Zealand for education?
All eight universities in New Zealand are ranked in the top 500, so, the quality of education is very high. Our universities have diverse pool of students. We have so much open space.
You are known as one of the best captain and a true leader. What is the secret of your success?
It's flattering (smiles). As a captain, I used all the resources, did good research and got the job done. My team allowed me to explore different strategies. I was willing to do things differently. Leadership is all about devising strategies, trying new things and effective communication.
Were you a studious as a child, which was your favourite subject?
Challenged (laughs). My parents used to push me for studies, while, I liked to play cricket and rugby. I wasn't a studious child. I liked physical and outdoor activities. Science was my favourite subject. Though I must admit, I could not score 100 in Mathematics. But during my stint as a captain, I had to pay great attention to statistics. I had to understand averages, percentages and other data.
You spend a lot of time in India. What about your kids and wife?
I have three children, aged eight, six and two. Last year, was tough as youngest one was very small. I make sure that they come for two-three weeks between IPL matches, so that they have experience of India.
There is a lot of controversy relating WAGs of cricketers. BCCI apparently feels cricketers get distracted if their WAGs accompany them in the tour. What is your opinion?
WAGs should accompany players on tours. If husbands just keep touring, they can hardly spend time with their families. I am of the opinion that players feel very relaxed when their loved ones are around.