New Zealand coach will depart in April 2009 May 9, 2008

Bracewell reveals exit strategy

Cricinfo staff

The search is on to replace John Bracewell © Getty Images

New Zealand Cricket has started its search for a new coach after John Bracewell's decision to step down when his contract expires next April. Bracewell, who started his term in 2003, stayed in the job despite a strong external push to remove him following the 2007 World Cup and has been given the luxury of picking his exit date.

Bracewell is currently on New Zealand's tour in England - the first Test starts at Lord's on Thursday - and the announcement gives the country's officials plenty of time to find a suitable replacement for the re-developing Test and one-day outfits.

"John has taken New Zealand a long way in his time with the team and has driven some tremendous results, most notably in the one-day game," Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said. "We will be looking for someone who can build on John's work and take the team forward.

"We currently have an extremely talented group of players with some really exciting individuals entering the international game. They have the makings of a very successful team and the coach will be selected to realise this potential."

Vaughan added that Bracewell had a challenging role and it's natural he wanted to move on. "It's a pretty difficult job with all the constant travel and constant media attention," he told NZPA. "I think John - by the end of this term - feels he needs a change, and I think that's completely understandable.

Bracewell plans to stay in coaching when he leaves the national set-up with a return to Gloucestershire one of the options. "I have enjoyed my time with the team," he said, "and am now looking forward to future challenges at the conclusion of my contract next year."

"A few people have been whispering about what his intentions might be, and about linking him with other roles," added Vaughan. "But it's also to really allow New Zealand Cricket an unrushed search and recruitment process so we can go around having discussions with coaches either within New Zealand or internationally.

"And to be able to do that in an open manner, rather than having to try and do it on the sly."