Former India coach a chance to succeed Bracewell May 10, 2008

Wright could walk into job - Patel

Cricinfo staff

John Wright is yet to decide whether he will apply to replace John Bracewell as New Zealand's coach © Getty Images

John Wright would almost certainly be appointed as New Zealand's coach if he wanted the job, according to one of the other men keen to take on the role, Dipak Patel. Wright has not confirmed whether he will apply for the position, which will become available when the incumbent John Bracewell steps down next April.

Patel, who coaches the New Zealand Under-19 team, is hoping to finally get a crack at the senior job but he knows his chances hinge on how much competition there is for the role. "It certainly interests me and though I've applied twice before the timing is better this time, so I'm pretty keen," Patel told the Dominion Post. "I think I can do a good job but who knows who is going to apply? If John Wright applies, the job is his."

Wright is currently New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) acting high performance manager and Justin Vaughan, NZC's chief executive, said despite Wright's experience as an international coach with India it would be disappointing if they lost him from his existing role. "John came in to do a job at New Zealand Cricket and that is what he is doing," Vaughan said. "He didn't come in to be national coach in waiting.

"He came in to develop our emerging talent from Under-17s through to the national A team. He has a big job and is doing a really good job. It will be up to him whether he wants to put his name in the hat and we would be actually really sad because he is doing a really good job what he is doing. John Wright knows all too well that international cricket is a very demanding job, so what I want him to do is take some time to think about it."

Either way, Wright is likely to have some input into who replaces Bracewell. Vaughan said he had no preconceived idea of whether the new coach should be home-grown or from another country.

"In the end it is about who you believe can take the side on and win you games," Vaughan said. "We'll look internationally, it would be remiss not to. We'll look at who is coaching and who has been coaching in high-standard competitions overseas. I'll talk to John [Wright] about who is the type of coach who can take us forward and I'll speak to some of the senior players."

Vaughan said the decision to announce Bracewell's departure so far in advance was designed to end speculation and give them their best chance of securing the top replacement possible. "We both agreed it was the right time to announce it so it stops the whispering on where he is linked to," Vaughan said. "It also allows New Zealand Cricket to approach people in an open way."