Mott in frame for New Zealand coaching job
Matthew Mott, the New South Wales coach, has made the initial cut for John Bracewell's New Zealand job and will be interviewed over the next couple of weeks. Mott was asked to apply for the post, which becomes available in April, and has made a list that is believed to include Graham Ford, formerly of South Africa but now at Kent.
"I was flattered to get asked and the thought of an international job is very exciting," Mott said. "There's a fair bit to think about before the job becomes available. I've got to fulfil a contract here at New South Wales - it ends at the end of the season - and that's my first priority."
The whittling down of a group Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said included up to 20 serious candidates has only just began, but if they were to go with Mott it would result in a significantly different outlook to the 50-year-old Bracewell. Currently 34, Mott would be the same age as some of the players.
The issue has not created concerns at New South Wales and he steered the side to the Pura Cup in his first season in the head job. "I've found it a good thing," he said. "At New South Wales I hadn't played with the guys so it was a new playing group. Being around their age I could relate to them and understand how things worked with the contract system and the structures." Despite his empathy, he maintains he is capable of making unpopular decisions.
Mott was appointed to the Blues in 2007 when Trevor Bayliss left to take up the Sri Lanka position and he was due to be an assistant with the Australia team on their tours to Pakistan earlier this year. When the trip was cancelled he joined John Buchanan, a former mentor at Queensland, at the Kolkata Knight Riders, where he linked up with the New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.
"It's an exciting time for New Zealand," Mott said. "They've got a good bunch of senior players as well as younger guys coming through."
A steady top-order batsman, Mott started his career in Queensland before switching to Victoria, playing a total of 66 first-class games and scoring 3723 runs. He retired early and one of his first coaching jobs was as an assistant with the Australia Under-19 World Cup squad. He also spent a season as player-coach of the New South Wales 2nd XI under the eye of Bayliss.
Another of Mott's former bosses is Ford and the pair worked together when Mott travelled to Kent for an off-season. Now the men are expected to be pushing for the same role. "Graham was an outstanding operator," Mott said, "and a fantastic coach." Bracewell will return to Gloucestershire, the team he left in 2003 to take up the New Zealand role, when his contract expires.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo