New Zealand news

John Wright to stand down as New Zealand coach

Brydon Coverdale

May 1, 2012

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

John Wright looks on, New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd Test, Wellington, 1st day, March 23, 2012
The tour of the West Indies will be John Wright's last as coach of New Zealand © AFP

John Wright has cited differences with New Zealand's director of cricket, John Buchanan, as a key factor in his decision not to extend his contract as the head coach. Wright has been in the position for only 16 months but has turned down a proposal to stay on beyond August, when his contract expires, meaning the upcoming tour of the West Indies will be his last engagement as coach of New Zealand.

During Wright's time in charge, New Zealand have played nine Tests for three wins, three losses and three draws, and they reached the semi-finals of the World Cup last year. The highlight was the team's first victory in a Test in Australia for a quarter of a century, and that was followed by a respectable performance against South Africa, who won 1-0 in New Zealand.

But despite such encouraging results, Wright said he was ready to move on and that it was best to make way for a coach who could steer the side through to the 2015 World Cup, which he could not envisage himself doing. He also said differences between himself and Buchanan, who was appointed director of cricket several months after Wright took over as coach, had played a part.

"During the review process with the current cricket director, we both agreed the planning systems that he wants to implement don't complement the style and the way I coach, so that was another factor," Wright told reporters in New Zealand on Tuesday. "It's part of sport. I've enjoyed the opportunity to coach the New Zealand cricket team.

"I've looked at it from my point of view, the way I coach and the values and beliefs that I bring to the job. It's very important that I'm true to myself ... We see things a little differently. It would be fair to say we're probably more comfortable coaching against each other, which we did for four and a half years. But it's part of sport."

Wright became coach in December 2010, replacing Mark Greatbatch on a contract of less than two years. In April 2011, Buchanan was brought in to the newly-created role of director of cricket and was handed a four-year contract and a wide-ranging brief to oversee the high-performance programme and introduce consistent coaching strategies.

Asked to outline the differences in approach between himself and Buchanan, Wright said: "I think he's probably in a better position to do that. We're probably not that different, we just see things a little differently. As I explained earlier, the planning systems that John wants to implement are probably suited to another head coach. I think it's just a difference of style. We see things very differently. I wish him and everyone else success."

Wright, 57, has the chance to finish on a high with the July-August two-Test tour of the Caribbean, which will give New Zealand an opportunity to finish his tenure by jumping ahead of West Indies on the ICC Test rankings. David White, the NZC chief executive, said it was disappointing Wright had decided to end his time as head coach and the challenge would now be to find a mentor who could guide the side to the 2015 World Cup.

"John has been an outstanding servant for cricket in New Zealand over a long time and it is disappointing to lose someone of his calibre," White said. "We were keen to see him continue his head coach role, however we understand and respect his decision to look for another challenge.

"The fighting performance of the Black Caps at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and again in the Test victory over Australia spoke volumes about John as a coach and he can be proud of the way he has advanced the current team. I would like to congratulate John on the contribution he has made and wish him all the best in his future endeavours."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by geedubnz on (May 2, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

Great own goal by NZ Cricket.

Buchanan and Wright don't get on? So get rid of Buchanan!!

Posted by ahsha on (May 2, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

Terrible news for New Zealand Cricket!The people of New Zealand and cricket fans will have NO tolerance for any future failures now.Buchanan will take the credit for all of it. NZers won't forget and will enjoy blaming an Australian......

Posted by Sulli001 on (May 2, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

Why is one of NZ crickets best batmen and coach stepping aside because he doesnt see eye to eye with Buchanan, surely it should be Buchanan that must leave!!

Posted by KazaLN on (May 1, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

John Wright was the first foreign coach who lifted Indian cricket to great heights. He gained the respect of his players simply by letting them be themselves. An out and out background guy who does not crave for media attention.Great coach indeed. India would gladly take John Wright for Duncan Fletcher even in sleep. Can there be coach exchange program between NZC and BCCI ?

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

Differences with John Buchanan has been the order of the day for whichever place he goes. Had an unsuccessful stint with the IPL for KKR and NZC chose him over all others in the world of Cricket !!! Bad move #1. Next was to setup a new post for him with all powers !!! Bad move #2. NZC should've sacked him and asked Wright to stay on. May be, BCCI can approach him again. Agree with a few others on Wright coaching Bangaladesh as he motivates team better than most of the yesteryear cricket greats !!!

Posted by montys_muse on (May 1, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

New Zealand may as well get relegated to the associate division with John Wright stepping down as coach...they are so bad already...

Posted by Nihontone on (May 1, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

I'm an Aussie and I've been living in NZ for the last 6 years. I'm really feeling sad for NZ cricket at the moment. John Buchanan and Kim Littlejohn are NOT the way forward - anyone could've coached the team Buchanan had and Littlejohn doesn't even have a cricket background. What little positive ground has been made over the last 2 years will be lost. This something that NZ cannot afford. *sigh*

Posted by only_india_1 on (May 1, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

This guy buchanan...what do i tell about him, he like greg chappell, everywhere he goes, he makes cracks in the organization, who can forget KKR fiasco in 2009 season where he came up with weirdest formula..multiple captains and all that. This day in NZC was to come for sure, it was not a matter of why, but when...good luck john wright for your future..

Posted by jfgjfg on (May 1, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Buchanan?! Seriously?! Are NZC out of their minds? Buchanan over John Wright? Who is running NZC?

Posted by JohnnyRook on (May 1, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

Its a shame. Given a choice between Wright and Buchanan, I would pick Wright any day of the week. Buchanan has only worked with a great team which would have most likely won plenty even without him. Wright on the other hand has done a great job coaching NZ and India. However I think NZ's loss might be India's gain. India should rehire him as soon as possible if he is still interested in coaching India.

Posted by vaughanw on (May 1, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

Its a great loss to NZ cricket for sure... Its a shame this is about personal differences, though he was never there for the long term in anycase. Hes done a great job and you have to respect his openess! He is unquestionably a world class coach, but I dont agree that he should have full control of selection as well... and I would be surprised if he had NO contribution to this currently! I absolutely think Buchanon and co are taking us in the right direction with selection, i.e. statistics, performance based, tallent! Everyone in NZ cricket wants control!! And I think the Aussi's have enough of a track record to suggest we could learn something from them about cricket... Steve Rixon took over an absolute mess caused by some other big NZ personalities who wanted full control, took us to the Semi Finals followed by a glorious 2-1 test series win in England in 99!! We have the makings of a great young team, lets hope they can find the right replacement before the WI tour!

Posted by anilkp on (May 1, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

As the saying goes: "you are wise if you learn from others' mistakes, you are fool if you learn from your own mistake, you are...(no term exists) if you do not learn from even your own mistakes". New Zealand Cricket has proved that they belong to the third, worst category. Worse still, they let Wright go while keeping Buchanan! I thought nothing can be worse than the worst; but ...!Trouble is the shadow of Buchanan; wherever he went it followed him. One simple example is the IPL team KKR; see what it is doing without Buchanan! Buchanan was a successful coach for the Aussies NOT FOR HIS COACHING CREDENTIALS but for the quality of players he had in his disposal. Simple. Without that, he is the unrivaled trouble-maker. I pity NZ players and fans!

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

they choose Buchanan over Wright...that is the strangest thing...his win with Australia was with a very talented team...had nothing to do with him...even i can coach team with Mcgrath, Warne, Ponting, hayden.Gilchrist and win....

Posted by ercdanbu on (May 1, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

I think NZ Cricket Board should check with Sharukh Khan to ask his experiences of hiring John Buchnan as a coach... Anyways I really appreciate the honesty of John Wright

Posted by Rus2k1 on (May 1, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

John Wright would be a perfect mentor for Bangladesh cricket team. I don't know whether he wants to coach in sub continent again. He is a champion coach. It will be a huge advantage for Bangladesh cricket if he coaches.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

Bring back John to coach Team India Again. We love him...

Posted by Clyde on (May 1, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

I don't imagine any coach could truly work with a 'director of cricket' . The term is an oxymoron that could only have been dreamt up by the kind of dysfunctional administrations that have, in various nations, put before us quiescent spectators a series of fast bowlers so fragile they have to be rotated, and officially, of course. How about more respect for native talent and less racehorse-style 'development'?

Posted by plow on (May 1, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

No one will want the job since they will have to answer to Buchanan.

Sigh...... Just when things were improving a little....

Sometimes you just need to admit you made a mistake NZC, pay buchanan to leave and get wright back, he had a great effect on the players.

Posted by GCKelly on (May 1, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

Losing him is a big disappointment. But it's great to see Wright be true to himself and not keep coaching half heartedly with arrangements he doesn't agree with. I wonder if the next coach will be Australian?

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

I hope Stephen Fleming is interested in the role but he could very well be the next coach of Indian so im not sure. Besides Buchanan is running the show he might as well be coach. Hiring him never sat well with me.

Posted by Srini88 on (May 1, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

Both, obviously have different management styles and attitudes. This is not a surprise at all.

Posted by RandyOZ on (May 1, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

Buchanan? HAHAHA oh boy the Kiwis are in trouble. At least they have a few Saffers now to bolster their attack, much like the entire English squad.

Posted by Rick777 on (May 1, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

Big loss for NZ. Wright was the perfect man for the next 8 years or so...

Posted by sukuviju on (May 1, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

Question - Are Australian coaches only good enough for the Australian team? Answer - Yes. Australians are arrogant and brash. their communication skills are very poor and they more often than not end up rubbing people the wrong side. Moral of the story - Stay away from Australian coaches but try and learn the Australian way of not giving up without a fight.

Posted by bharath74 on (May 1, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

G8 loss to NZC, only once in a while u get gr8 Coaches, u just cant afford to loose them, may be it is India's opportunity to get John Wright back.

Posted by SixFourOut on (May 1, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

Nz's problem is that they have too often picked guys on a whim, whilst guys averaging well miss out. Deboorder has a first class average of 40, and the wicket keeper position is wide open, but the picked Van Wyck who averaged 25 for the series. Ryder needs to be in the team, get him right and ready to play. Wagner will be a real bowling asset. Martin is so unbelievably overrated, but he'll be gone soon, from what I can see they could have a really competitive test side with Guptil - Macullum - Ryder - Taylor - Williamson - Brownlie - Watling - Vettori - Wagner - Bracewell - Gillespie. NZ have only ever been consistently competitive when they have had a strong tail, but this could be the first time they have a decent top 3 and a good 7-10. I can actually see a side capable of getting 400+ often and actually taking ten wickets. Bracewell still has to prove himself, 2 5fors so far, but needs to bend that ball frequently. Gillespie takes wickets even if expensive.

Posted by StoneRose on (May 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Big blow for NZ...shouldn't differences have been ironed out before Wright/Buchanan struck up their partnership? Or it be realised that they were mutually incompatible?

Posted by Pathiyal on (May 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

buchanan again? the director of NZ cricket? ask the players if they want him there :-) they should have rethought about their decision to continue with buchanan rather than letting a head coach of john wright's caliber to go. if wright was able to do well in india despite all the cultural differences, he could have done better in his home country.

Posted by CanTHeeRava on (May 1, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

"I've looked at it from my point of view, the way I coach and the values and beliefs that I bring to the job. It's very important that I'm true to myself ... We see things a little differently. It would be fair to say we're probably more comfortable coaching against each other, which we did for four and a half years"....TELLING COMMENT THIS BY JOHN WRIGHT...I FEEL FOR HIM...VERY SAD FOR KIWI CRICKET

Posted by CanTHeeRava on (May 1, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

@lobsterchampion: I can't agree with you more. India should try their luck with Wright again. Gary Kirsten was in the same mold and we need somebody like him. Wright may not be willing to take the job again. What a shame! A non-NZ bird from across the pond has helped dislodged an efficient NZ coach. What on earth was NZ cricket authority thinking when it appointed Buchanan as its cricket beats me.

Posted by StevieS on (May 1, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

Joshua Geerlofs probably to early for him, but he definitely would have a good rapport with the players.

Posted by Min2000 on (May 1, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

NZL is an improving side with a good solid base of players (Taylor, Williamson, McCullum, Ryder, Guptill, Vettori, and Bracewell) -- there will be coaches out there willing to take a pay cut to work with these guys.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

its all down to selection reasons and team control wrights resignation. He wasnt allowed to control or have a say in the team that fielded and was basically there for drills and tactics not building a reliable team. I honestly feel sorry for wrighty he worked his but off for nz when he played and did the best he could when he got the team he wanted, but to be treated as poorly as he was is disappointing from buchannan if he wants a say in the team so bad why doesnt he just coach it.

Posted by KrishRam1977 on (May 1, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

This is indeed a big blow to NZ Cricket!! World cricket would be better for without John Buchanan!! Well NZ Cricket's loss can be India's gain.. India should fire Duncan Grandpaa n hire John Wright who is fit and a background work is phenomenal. Wright should take up India Job or mentor an upcoming and ever improving Bangladesh. :)

Posted by Erebus26 on (May 1, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

Not the first time somebody has said that they can't work with John Buchanan is it!?! John Wright's departure will be a great loss to NZ cricket - he is a quality coach.

Posted by muski on (May 1, 2012, 7:23 GMT)

@Sam- Are you saying that NZ " was" a force in world cricket. Not to the remotest memory of any cricket lover. I have been watching NZ Cricket since 1980 and have seen only 4 world class cricketers in these 32 years- Hadlee, Martiin Crowe, Felming and Vettori. The current lot of Ross Taylor and others will take your cricket no where.

Posted by DreamGame on (May 1, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

Get John Wright back as coach for the Indian Cricket team......Duncan fletcher hasnt done much in his stint as coach so far........time to cut our losses.....I am sure the Indian team will also GLADLY welcome him back. He was great for Indian cricket. BCCI, are you listening?????????

Posted by muski on (May 1, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

Just when we thought Wright was doing all the right things for NZ Cricket, he is planning to quit thanks to a guy who has never played competitive cricket in his life. KKR is still reeling from the Ghosts of Buchanan's regime. I personally believe foreigners should never ever be given the reins of any control- be it in sports or politics. The sooner they throw Buchanan out the better for NZ Cricket.

Posted by shooting on (May 1, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

Mark Richardson should apply for the job...........

Posted by Baundele on (May 1, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

How could John Buchanan become the director of NZ cricket? He used to have rubbish ideas. Now it seems like Buchanan's only fan Jamie Siddons might get the job. That is a double bad news for NZ cricket.

Posted by sony_sr on (May 1, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

We need you. Please come to India. I hope BCCI will do its best to get him as coach.

Posted by lobsterchampion on (May 1, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

NZ's loss will be some other team's gain. As an Indian supporter I hope that the other team is India :). BCCI should remove Fletcher and hire John.

Posted by gadzooks56 on (May 1, 2012, 6:39 GMT)

Why can't we get rid of Buchanan and keep Wright???

Posted by Third_Gear on (May 1, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

He is going to join BANGLADESH team shortly.

Posted by suresh_gym on (May 1, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

Come on John..We're ready to welcome back you to India!!

Posted by ork_1996 on (May 1, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

this is d best chance for India. fire Duncan Fletcher and get in John Wright. Remember India flourished under him

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

Shame they could not hold onto Wright...are not enough good blokes in the world let alone coaches.

Is it time that they call on Mr Fleming? Best tactician in the game....

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

bring mr. wright back to india. we need him.....RIGHT NOW !!!

Posted by casey200 on (May 1, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

An opening batsman amongst the gutsiest NZ has ever seen and a coaching mentality that personifies perfectly NZ's desire to punch above their weight. Wrights emphasis on the mental toughness required to compete at test level will be sorely missed. Its a shame he couldn't stay on as coach but one would feel that his replacement should maintain a similar environment as the one Wright built for NZ cricket. The foundations for a stronger test side were clearly evident recently with gutsy efforts against the greatest bowling attack in the world and once in a blue moon test victory against aus. will miss you wrighty

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 3:54 GMT)

This is why NZ cricket is in such a mess. There's simply not enough money to retain the talents of a coach like Wright. I think NZ will now steadily decline, and most likely will never be a force in world cricket again.

Posted by rohitmakhija on (May 1, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

Any chances of John Wright coming back to India????

Posted by Maccanui on (May 1, 2012, 3:34 GMT)

This is a massive loss for NZC. I'd be interested to hear the reasons why he isn't staying on. Seems to be the first time in a long while our test team had made progress so to lose Wright now is a real shame. We'll struggle to find anyone even remotely near Wright's calibre.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

Oh God. I reckon we just give the job to Buchanan.

Posted by plow on (May 1, 2012, 2:38 GMT)


Not enough room for Johns here obviously.

Posted by Chris_P on (May 1, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

Why 2 tests? Where is test cricket heading with these 2 test series apart from offering frustrations to the true fans of the sport.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (May 1, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

NZC dont wait and appoint Rahul Dravid for the Job. It will definately improve the batting of New Zealand with the good technique and ethic which dravid has and go for Jason Gillespie for bowling coach. IF it really works New Zealand with there new set of Bowlers and batsmen will strong force to beat within 1 year.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 2:03 GMT)

No wonder NZ don't get anywhere in cricket when they change the coach more than the NZ weather changes in a day. They need to keep the coach through thick and thin, make the next one sign a 5 year deal so he can't coward out. They also need to stop changing the line-up when the going gets tough. If you don't keep a team together, a team that can become familiar to eachother, then you don't get experience and you don't get wins. Simple.

Posted by bluefunk on (May 1, 2012, 1:46 GMT)

Stephen Fleming would be a good choice, imo.

Posted by   on (May 1, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

Dun dun dunnnnn. Where do we go from here? No-one else competent will want the job.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (May 1, 2012, 1:39 GMT)

That does seem a real shame as everything I've seen of Wright suggests that he is good for NZ cricket. I'd be interested to know what these "other opportunities" are, specifically whether he is looking to stay in coaching but outside NZ or whether he's looking to move away from cricket into more business-related areas.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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