July 4, 2003

Three-year contract for Bracewell in New Zealand

John Bracewell has been given a three-year contract as New Zealand's latest coach.

It will expire in April 2006.

His appointment today from a field of seven serious candidates, according to New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Martin Snedden, also ushered in a new team management system providing greater accountability to the board of NZC by all parties.

Bracewell's former boss at Auckland Cricket, Lindsay Crocker, has been appointed general manager of the side. The pair have come through the ranks together, although in their playing years they were opponents, Bracewell for Otago and Auckland, Crocker for Northern Districts.

In making the announcements, Snedden said a conscious decision had been made by NZC two years ago to have the previous contracts end after the World Cup of 2003, although this had been extended to cover the Sri Lankan tour.

He paid tribute to the work done by retiring manager Jeff Crowe who effectively ended 20 years of involvement with the game in New Zealand while Denis Aberhart had been in charge of the side for the last two productive years.

He was delighted to appoint Bracewell and Crocker to what was going to be an exciting period in the game for New Zealand as they looked to advance their standing.

The decision to appoint Bracewell, who has been based in England since 1999, came from looking at what was not a huge pool of available talent in the world.

"There is a pool of 10-15 people who are obviously capable of coaching well at international level. And it is not hard to identify who they are. We have kept in touch with both John Bracewell and John Wright. John Bracewell will have more responsibility than had been assumed by Denis. But the changes have been totally backed by all involved," Snedden said.

Under Aberhart, New Zealand had performed well in Tests, and had started to improve its one-day game.

"But I still see an improvement needed. We need to win more matches than we have been doing and we need to develop some more strike bowlers.

"In one-day cricket we need a much bigger improvement. We are seventh in the rankings. We have had some success in one-day cricket, in beating Australia three games out of four in the VB Series last year and in Sri Lanka.

"But when the pressure is at its greatest we haven't done that well. We need to really advance our game," he said.