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December 14, 2008
John Bracewell, who was New Zealand coach till last month, was severely criticised for the peer-appraisal system he had introduced during his tenure, but fast bowler Chris Martin has joined Jacob Oram and former assistant coach Bob Carter in defending the process.
He said that while there had been problems with the exercises initially, they had been modified to become more relevant and had helped improve communication within the team besides helping players understand their game better.
"We senior players believe that with open communication you don't ignore things, they're addressed straight away," he told the Sunday Star Times. "And if things are handled appropriately, younger guys learn more quickly about the game and how it should be played."
Giving an example of how the programme helped, he said: "A batsman writes down things, such as 'get through the first 18 balls, play down the ground and play my two best shots'. If they get out wafting at a wide one early in the innings they haven't lived by what they've said they're going to do and that's what the guys are rated on.
"I'd rather have team-mates pick you up on things openly and honestly and it's definitely been the most communicative team I've been involved in," he said. "People don't ignore things and let them well up, things get spoken about."
Martin said that while the process was beneficial it still needed tweaking to work better for cricket teams. "We have to do it at the end of every day and it's quite an exhausting process and a difficult one to do on the run in a Test match environment." The process was designed by Australia-based corporate trainer Leading Teams, who have worked extensively with rugby teams.
Recently appointed New Zealand coach Andy Moles is expected to continue it in a watered-down format.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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