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December 3, 2008
Bob Carter, the former New Zealand assistant coach, has said the "harshness of the criticism" heaped on John Bracewell, the outgoing New Zealand coach, is "right over the top". The recent 2-0 Test loss in Australia was the last assignment for Bracewell, who had Carter aiding him for most of his five years in charge.
"As far as I'm concerned, John Bracewell achieved a heck of a lot and we should celebrate that, not run him down all the time," Carter told the Press. "Making the semi-finals of three world limited-over tournaments is something to be proud of and his record - if you look at the figures for his one-day record - is right up there."
Bracewell's stint ended with New Zealand slumping to No. 8 in the ICC Test rankings, but he had a 57% win-loss ratio in ODIs, winning 61 out of 106 games. "At one stage, Australia was beaten 3-0 [in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in 2007] and the style of cricket being played was exhilarating and had everyone talking. I do get sick of the negativity all the time."
New Zealand have been weakened in the past year by the exodus of players to the ICL - they were subsequently banned - but Carter said Bracewell was not to blame. "We have lost a number of players of late and that has impacted on the team and some of its performances. But none went, as far as I know, directly because of John. Some went to secure their future with the money the Indian Cricket League offered.
"Others went beforehand but they had individual reasons regarding family or fitness or form that contributed to the decisions they made. When they were with the team they were all incredibly committed.
"You are always trying to get that one or two percent extra to keep the Black Caps up with the field because most other teams have more player depth and all the technology. People say that the Black Caps are overstaffed yet they are at the lower end of teams on the international scale."
After the loss in the second Test against Australia in Adelaide, Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, had called for a complete overhaul of the way the team was being managed, and lashed out against the "peer appraisal" programme.
"That was introduced to get everybody contributing to the team not just the senior players. Different people see things from different perspectives, nobody has a mortgage on ideas," Carter said, while clarifying the process was used only the day after a match and not in the middle of one.
"I'd like to think the professionalism that John put in place is a legacy he will leave from which Andy Moles can take the team forward. It was disappointing to lose to Australia but they are still a pretty good side and not quite in the crisis that everyone was talking about."
Carter, a former Northamptonshire player and coach, left his New Zealand job to take charge of Canterbury earlier this year. Bracewell will return to Gloucestershire next season, a team he had coached successfully before his New Zealand stint.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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