December 10, 2012

New Zealand cricket

Taylor's opting out of SA tour a mistake

Chris Rattue, in the New Zealand Herald, says Ross Taylor's decision to skip the South Africa tour is the wrong one.

A tour to South Africa is not to be missed and Taylor is paid to play cricket. He needed to pick up his bat, give Brendon McCullum the support that Taylor himself was denied by people who should know better, and got on with his fabulous Test career. Life is too short to miss out on such opportunities, and in the scheme of world injustices, a lot worse happens to millions on a daily basis ... South Africa are the best team in the world and New Zealand desperately need Taylor there. It is a royal chance for the man himself to show his best stuff.

Kris Shannon, in the same paper, profiles Mike Hesson the coach.

So how did Hesson, a 38-year-old career coach, come to be in a position of such control? His trajectory to the top of New Zealand cricket was atypical for an international coach, a position which usually arrives after a lengthy playing career at the highest level or, at least, first class cricket. Instead, after representing Otago B an as opening batsman and finding his path to the provincial side blocked by the likes of Mark Richardson and Matt Horne, Hesson began his coaching career 18 years ago ... 23-year-old Hesson became the youngest person to attain an NZC level three coaching qualification and put it to immediate use, becoming coaching director at Otago Cricket."

Glenn McLean, writing for Fairfax NZ News, says it is not Hesson's fault that New Zealand cricket is at its lowest point; the blame for that falls at the feet of the NZC board members.

[Hesson] surely must be afforded some slack for making errors, no matter how monumental ... The board has overseen the mess following the 2007 Cricket World Cup by hiring and firing John Bracewell, Andy Moles, Mark Greatbatch and John Wright as coaches. Hesson, for now, fits in the "still has a job" column. It has also rubber-stamped the appointments of numerous fly-by-nighters into various "specialist" coaching roles and we've seen no improvement in on-field performance.

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