January 10, 2009

New Zealand cricket

A mountain too high for some

Jamie Alter

New Zealand's selectors have indicated they do not rate the country's domestic cricket as a strong enough standard of play for form alone to enable selection to international level, feels Mark Richardson. Richardson accepts the selection of Martin Guptill (who made a century on ODI debut) as a player with an untried X-factor, but believes the initial non-selection of the currently red-hot Mathew Sinclair spoke volumes. He writes in the New Zealand Herald:

Sinclair is not alone when it comes to former players tried and discarded and whose re-selection looks tremendously unlikely, regardless of the figures they post. Matthew Bell's 346 runs at 86 early in the season screamed for a recall which did not come; nor did one come for Craig Cumming who has been in top form this year too - averaging above 50 in the championship and shield. Rather, Jamie How kept his place in the hope he would come right.

In the same newspaper, Paul Lewis writes that England's current captain-coach fiasco makes New Zealand Cricket look good. New coach Andy Moles, says Lewis, appears to have been a good antidote to the loop-de-loop theoretical spaghetti of the John Bracewell era and, so far at least, seems to be a sensible man who is sensibly addressing the shortcomings of the team he has inherited.

Dylan Cleaver speaks to Peter Guptill, the proud father of the player who scored the second-highest ODI century on debut, about the time he called up Jeff Crowe. Martin was 13 and lying in an Auckland hospital bed getting used to the idea he was going to live the rest of his life with two toes on his left foot. But Peter used his contacts to get in touch with Crowe, then manager of the New Zealand team, and a visit from Stephen Fleming followed.

Another NZH columnist, Peter Williams, says that it's a measure of Glenn Turner's love for the game of cricket that, 40 years after his first association with the New Zealand team, he's still intimately involved as, effectively, the convener of selectors.


Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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