Coach wants new colleague to work with openers

Bracewell pleased Wright is on board

Cricinfo staff

July 25, 2007

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John Wright's role might include working with New Zealand's top-order batsmen © Getty Images
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New Zealand's reappointed coach John Bracewell hopes the team's newest off-field signing, John Wright, will travel with the squad on a case-by-case basis. Wright has joined New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in a high-performance role, although the exact nature of his position is yet to be decided.

Bracewell, who has secured his job for two more years, believes a priority should be for Wright to work with Jamie How and Michael Papps during the Test tour of South Africa in November. "We are going to have inexperienced openers so I would love to have John for that South African Test series, because that is where we are going to be vulnerable," Bracewell told the Dominion Post.

Justin Vaughan, NZC's CEO, said Bracewell was still the best man for the job as head coach but he could improve the team's performance if he had better support staff. "Mark O'Neill [the new batting coach] and John Wright are part of that mix," Vaughan said. "Wrighty will also be good for John to bounce ideas off, without ever feeling threatened by him."

O'Neill, the son of Australia's former Test batsman Norm O'Neill, has spent the past 16 years coaching at club and state level with Western Australia and New South Wales. A former batsman with both states, O'Neill said he was "stoked" to be offered the New Zealand position and he would pursue a programme of "keeping it simple". "The game is complicated by a lot of people and if you concentrate on basically simple sequences you can't go wrong," O'Neill said in the New Zealand Herald.

Another change was the removal of Bracewell's right to veto the decisions of the selection panel. "I looked at it and thought it was an anomaly and no one could explain to me why it was there, including Braces," Vaughan said. The decision was of no concern to Bracewell, who said he was "entirely comfortable with" his diminished powers and he had never overruled the other three selectors, Richard Hadlee, Glenn Turner and Dion Nash.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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