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Moles quits as New Zealand coach

Brydon Coverdale

October 24, 2009

Comments: 24 | Text size: A | A

Andy Moles is deep in thought, Auckland, January 8, 2009
Andy Moles' time in charge of New Zealand is over © Getty Images
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Andy Moles has resigned as New Zealand's coach but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has denied he was forced out by player power after less than a year in the job. NZC's chief executive Justin Vaughan said the coach's departure three days before the side flies to the UAE to play Pakistan would be unsettling but he was confident Daniel Vettori could ably lead the squad.

However, there is no guarantee that New Zealand will have a new coach in place by the time they host Pakistan for three Tests starting in late November. Vaughan said NZC would aim to have found Moles' replacement prior to the home series against Bangladesh in February.

Moles and Vaughan took part in mediation talks on Friday, following reports that the senior players were unhappy with a lack of technical and tactical support being provided by Moles. The pair came to an agreement that Moles would step down, after a review of the team's performance in Sri Lanka and at the Champions Trophy suggested that changes should be made.

"I can categorically say this is not an issue of a group of players coming to me and saying 'get rid of the coach'," Vaughan said. "That did not happen. We sought the feedback of leading players, as I think is appropriate when they come back from their tour. We also sought the input from a number of other areas including support staff and management of that Black Caps team. This was not a case of player power.

"The review that we performed was comprehensive. We sought input from a wide variety of sources. The outputs of that review meant it was in the best interests that he resign."

The squad departs for the UAE early this week and while Moles will not be part of the touring party, the remainder of the support staff will travel with the players as planned. The team manager Dave Currie is expected to take more management responsibility over the support staff in Moles' absence.

Vaughan said the timing of Moles' resignation was less than ideal but he believed the players could cope without a coach in the short term. He cited the example of India, who performed well without a senior mentor for nearly a year until the appointment of Gary Kirsten.

"This will be unsettling, no question about it, having the coach resign three days before they leave," Vaughan said. "No question there will be some anxiety, some uncertainty, but the morale in the team is very strong. Daniel has shown he is leading the team very strongly at the moment and the team are right in behind him."

The departure of Moles less than a year after he replaced John Bracewell has also raised questions about whether NZC erred their interview and recruitment process at the time. Moles, who was contracted until the 2011 World Cup, beat other contenders including Matthew Mott and Dipak Patel for the role and Vaughan defended NZC's decision.

"He certainly was the best candidate at the time," he said. "He had come off a very strong record with Northern Districts and we made the best decision that we felt was available to us at that period of time and Andy has done some good things for this team."

Although the public nature of the lead-up to Moles' exit was embarrassing for the coach and the board, Moles has left the team after some on-field success. He helped guide New Zealand to the final of the Champions Trophy in South Africa earlier this month, an achievement that has turned into his parting legacy.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Posted by ahsha on (October 24, 2009, 21:38 GMT)

Look again Banksie-No Coach of any international side is given the time to convert batsmen with built-in self destruct mechanisms set for 15 overs and turn them into decent international class batsmen capable of batting long enough.These skills should be in batsmen before they are picked.Mole's mistake was that he did not realise that his batsmen needed Kindigarten teachers.Boys you should know this stuff already-it is not rocket science!Look to your own game.Stop shooting the messenger and please please stop begging for somebody to hold your hand.It is degrading........

Posted by sammyoneboy on (October 24, 2009, 21:27 GMT)

You don't have to be an international player to make a great coach. You can be a great international player and make for a very poor coach (it's frustrating when mere mortals can't produce the same superhuman feats that you did in your pomp). For someone who made a little go a long way, look no further than Dermott Reeve......I can't believe I just said that. Actually, if they check the coaches for doping he might be a liability. Therefore, John Wright in the interim and getting Stephen Fleming to work alongside with the view to take over in a year or two. Surely he has ambitions beyond heat pump adverts on tele!

Posted by tjdo on (October 24, 2009, 14:20 GMT)

Not entirely surprised but then Moles wasn't the best choice anyway. NZC will always find it difficult to attract the best coaches because their recent Test record is poor & their player base is so small there is little scope for player development. Let Dan Vettori do the job, at least for the near future; he is a strong leader & leads from within a close-knit team & the players respond well to him. After all, he more or less does everything for the team anyway & quite brilliantly too!! Good Luck to Dan & team against Pakistan.

Posted by Nipun on (October 24, 2009, 13:20 GMT)

It's a curious situation.While the New Zealand players have their point as Andy Moles was not an INTERNATIONAL cricketer,Andy Moles was also hard done by the fact that most of the players he was in charge of were mediocre at best,with only Daniel Vettori,Ross Taylor,Shane Bond,& Jesse Ryder international class.Yes,I believe that now NZC should appoint Stephen Fleming or Martin Crowe or someone with a good international career record in his CV as the coach.

Posted by Nige_C on (October 24, 2009, 13:16 GMT)

It is sad that Moles has been put in this position. He has acted honorably and by resigning has shown that he was not there for his own interests but wants the best for the team (which is more than can be said of others). When one looks back at the initial selection process I believe the problems started there. From memory the top 2-3 candidates for the position withdrew or declined the job. The question is why did those people decide the job was not for them. Did they see through experienced eyes the scenario playing out that Moles finds himself in. The current culture in NZ society is one of rights not responsibility, players are demanding more and actually performing at a lower level. The IPL frenzy has not helped with in this distorted view that players have of themselves. Therefore it would be natural for them to see Moles as the problem and not take personal responsibility. Fact is it is the players not performing (esp batsman) that is the problem. Maybe J Wright a temp answer?

Posted by Patrick_Clarke on (October 24, 2009, 12:22 GMT)

The real problem with New Zealand cricket is that half their best players are either no longer regularly available to play (Oram, Styris, Bond, McMillan etc) or don't want to play (no names but everyone knows who they are). This team doesn't need a coach, it needs a miracle worker. Arguably Moles performed one in guiding the team to the Champions Trophy final.

Posted by plow on (October 24, 2009, 12:20 GMT)

Excellent, now watch the black caps produce the best cricket they have done in years. Just watch.

As Shane Warne said, a coach is what carries you to the ground and back.

Now that this group of talent has been released to express themelseves as players and cricketers without the hinder of a coach barking at them, we can look forward to seeing what they are possible of creating with their own minds.

It will be a great thing for NZ cricket, and the start of a new trend where coaches will find themselves redundant. From now own team bonding will be stronger, leadership from the captain will be more effective (as it should be) and cricket will be all the better for it. Just look how much better NZ has done in the last tournament when Daniel Vettori was given pretty much full control of his own group of lads

Good luck to the Black Caps on this next tour. I really look froward to seeing what you guys can produce now that you have been given the freedom to do it.

All the best.

Posted by banksie on (October 24, 2009, 11:50 GMT)

1) NZ aren't good at 20/20 cricket. 2) neither are india. 3) we have a very talented side...just young. 4) when have india come close to winning something lately?....hmmmm....so if you think nz cricket have a bunch of talentless waste of space cricketers, i think you should look at the Indian side...and look AGAIN. at least NZ cricket play with pride and use their resources wisely and make semis of all major tournaments, (india exit and go home with their tail between their legs). What is wrong with realising that a coach is not teaching you enough?...is that not the job of a coach?

Posted by bilalifyful on (October 24, 2009, 11:39 GMT)

I think Vettori should be NZ's coach and captain, since he's already their best batsman, best bowler. I also think Vettori should be the team's physio. He should also be made the team's manager. Vaughan should also step down and Vettori should take over as the NZC chief. That should do it for the kiwis. xD

Posted by ahsha on (October 24, 2009, 9:23 GMT)

I feel sad for any coach of New Zealand-they have rubbish to work with.The worst batting line-up since 1930.No test standard batsmen and seemingly nobody prepared to put the effort in to become one.Keep playing 20-20 lads,its the only game you are fit for!No coach can make this pack of wastrels and time-servers consistent and sucessful.Shoot yourselves boys not the coach.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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