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August 21, 2007
John Wright is looking forward to his stint with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in a yet-to-be-disclosed role. Amid speculation that he would be appointed a national selector, Wright said he was prepared to work on a variety of projects ranging from grooming emerging players and seasoned internationals to the overhauling of talent-spotting programmes.
The New Zealand Herald reported that one of his first tasks will be to coach New Zealand A on their visit to Australia in October, although he is reluctant to spend too much time away from home. "It's probably best that Justin [Vaughan, NZC's chief executive officer] nailed down the specifics, but I think he wants me to work on things as disparate as the A team and emerging players, and a study into the relationships between the major associations and New Zealand Cricket," Wright told the Sunday Star Times.
Wright's signing with NZC has already been welcomed by John Bracewell, the head coach, who hopes Wright will be available to work with the openers before and during the tour of South Africa in November. Wright said he was prepared to work with New Zealand's senior and contracted players, if and when they needed assistance.
"I'm definitely keen to help the current internationals if they want me," he said. "I don't want to interfere or step on anyone's toes, but I'd certainly be available if someone wanted me to work with a specific player or players.
"But, to be honest, I'm not that keen to tour. After 10 or 11 years abroad I wouldn't be leaping enthusiastically back into a suitcase, put it that way. I guess I'll see what happens. I might feel differently in a year or so."
His reluctance to travel was one of the reasons Wright opted out of the head coaching role with Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence. "I just couldn't stand the thought of being away again," he said.
A major concern for Wright in this new endeavour was whether he would be effective enough. "If you're willing to get involved in top-level professional sport, you've got to try and make a difference, and that's what I'll be looking to do over the next couple of years," he said.
"I don't want to simply make up the numbers, I want to try to help. I don't know whether I'll be any good or not, but I think if I didn't try to help at some stage I'd regret it. I'm a New Zealander first and foremost and this is where my heart's at."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
But you can't expect a turnaround unless pitches, umpiring and practice facilities are simultaneously improved