New Zealand cricket June 14, 2005

Dion Nash appointed New Zealand selector

Cricinfo staff

Dion Nash: ready for a new challenge © Getty Images
Dion Nash, the former New Zealand fast bowler, has been named as a national selector. He joins John Bracewell, the New Zealand coach, Richard Hadlee, the manager of the selection committee, and Glenn Turner, who comes back for a second stint. Nash and Turner replace Ross Dykes and Brian McKechnie, both of whom retired from the role last month.

Looking ahead to his new job, Nash, 33, brushed aside suggestions that his proximity to some of the current players would hinder him in his task. Instead, he chose to look at the positives of having played international cricket as recently as three seasons back. "I feel there are positives in having the younger perspective I can bring. That, surely, would outweigh any relationships with players," he told The New Zealand Herald. "I'm looking forward to working with some pretty strong-minded guys. I imagine there will be some long meetings. It will be the chance to put our egos aside and work together for the good of the game."

Nash also revealed that he admired Dykes for his approach to the job. "One of his skills was to get alongside coaches and players at provincial level. Players are always appreciative when selectors take time to watch domestic cricket. Good players listen to everyone and then pick and choose what advice they will take. It should be no different for a selector."

The role of selector is likely to involve a fair bit of travelling, and Nash indicated that he was ready for it. "Every player playing domestic cricket in New Zealand is available [for selection]. A lot of the players I haven't met and don't know a lot about. That is something I am looking forward to."

Nash retired from international cricket in 2001-02 after a career which was plagued by back injuries. His back did hold up enough for him to play 32 Tests and 81 one-day internationals, though. His ODI stats were modest - 624 runs at 15.60 and 64 wickets at nearly 41 - but he more effective in Tests, especially with the ball. In only his fifth Test, against England at Lord's, he returned a match haul of 11 for 169 in a drawn match. He only had one other five-for - 6 for 27 against India at Mohali - but 93 wickets at 28.48 still make for impressive reading.

Nash also led New Zealand in three Tests, and was also well known for his aggressive and hard-minded attitude. That meant run-ins with authority as well, the most famous of which was an altercation with Turner, who was then the coach, during the West Indies tour in 1996. "It was a pretty tumultuous time and I probably did butt heads with Glenn a bit," The Dominion Post quoted Nash as saying. "But he's a guy I have total respect for and I don't think there is a cricketer in New Zealand who wouldn't say that. Despite all the water that's gone under the bridge, he was one of the real attractions of the job for me."

Nash said one of the challenges would be for New Zealand to identify the playing style which would work best for them. "One of the things that impressed me with Australia last summer was they seemed to know their playing style and they stayed true to it. I don't think we know our playing style. If we can make that decision and the players know what the selectors are looking for, then I think we can move forward."