Vettori to remain New Zealand captain
New Zealand are on one of their longest losing streaks, with 11 one-day defeats in a row, but the country's board has said that Daniel Vettori's position as captain is safe. NZC had called for improved performances after a 4-0 defeat to Bangladesh in October, and despite the continuing downslide in the team's performance, it has refrained from changing the captain.
"We need to go through a proper review and talk about what options there are to help the side improve," Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief executive, said, "but I'd be hard pressed to believe the captaincy would be one of those issues."
What was billed as the perfect World Cup build-up, with matches in each of the host countries, has turned into a disaster for New Zealand. The team failed to make the final in the tri-series in Sri Lanka in August and lost all matches in bilateral series against Bangladesh and India.
"I look back on this one-day tour [of India] as one of the worst tours for me as a New Zealand cricketer," Vettori said in Auckland. "That hurts a lot and it's embarrassing." He insisted, however, that there was no need for a new leader. "I enjoy doing the job, but if the team needs to move forward without me, then so be it. I don't think it's the right answer but there's a committee set up and I'm sure they'll make some decisions."
Former cricketers Martin Crowe and Shane Bond are among those on that committee, set up after the humiliating defeats to Bangladesh, to advise the board on promoting cricket at all levels - grassroots to elite - in New Zealand.
Mark Greatbatch's position as coach will be under scrutiny, and there have been calls for replacing him with former captain John Wright, who was successful during a four-year stint with India. "I understand people's desire to see him attached to the Black Caps because the New Zealand public loves John," Vaughan said. "He's had a proven international record and the Black Caps aren't travelling very well at the moment. But we are comfortable with the process we went with around the appointment of Mark and the way the team is operating with Roger [Mortimer, the NZC high-performance director] and the others."
Greatbatch, who took over in January, said he wanted to stay in charge at least until the World Cup. "If New Zealand Cricket decide that (sacking him) is the best way going forward I'd be happy with that," he said. "I'm still very keen. I came into this job with the World Cup in mind."
Later this month, New Zealand start a home series against Pakistan, which includes two Twenty20s, two Tests and six one-dayers, the final series for both teams before the World Cup.