New Zealand news November 2, 2009

Duncan Fletcher keen on New Zealand coaching job

Duncan Fletcher is understood to have expressed interest in returning to the international coaching ranks with New Zealand. Fletcher, who currently works in an advisory capacity with South Africa, has not held a full-time coaching position since parting ways with England after the team's ill-fated 2007 World Cup campaign.

Justin Vaughan, New Zealand Cricket's (NZC's) chief executive, would not confirm whether he had been in contact with Fletcher, but hinted the Ashes-winning coach could come under the board's microscope when a shortlist is drawn up over the coming weeks for the post vacated by Andy Moles last month. Unlike several other touted candidates, Fletcher could take on the job at short notice - he is currently without a full-time job, having been overlooked for the head coaching position with the Kolkata Knight Riders - and would bring with him a wealth of experience from his nine years at the helm of England.

"Duncan Fletcher is obviously a very highly regarded and well-credentialled coach," Vaughan said. "We are not going to disclose any candidates who have contacted us, or whom we might have contacted, but it's fair to say that there has been a lot of interest from around the world.

"For us, the most important thing is to find a coach who brings the right chemistry, skills and experience to the position. There has certainly been interest from coaches with international experience from all over the world. It's still quite early ... (and) we do not want to be progressing with discussions with any coaches until we are certain of the template of candidate we're looking for. We would certainly value recent international experience - it couldn't be someone from 20 years ago. A successful international coaching career would give someone extra points."

Fletcher could join a list of contenders that includes John Wright, the former coach of India, and John Dyson, who has led Sri Lanka and West Indies. The salary could yet loom as a sticking point, with NZC unable to go close to matching the estimated £300,000-a-year contract once paid to Fletcher by the ECB, although the lure of an international comeback may prove a powerful motivation.

The emergence of several experienced candidates for the coaching post will delight NZC's top brass, who encountered difficulty in replacing John Bracewell last year. Graham Ford, Mickey Arthur and Matthew Mott were among those to turn down approaches from New Zealand, resulting in Moles, then the coach of first-class side Northern Districts, winning the job virtually unopposed.

Vaughan is hopeful of filling Moles' former post before the end of the year, with the successful candidate to start with the national squad prior to Bangladesh's arrival in New Zealand for a Test and ODI series in February. "I want Daniel (Vettori) to be involved in the discussions, so a good time (to begin the interview process) might be when the team get back from the UAE," Vaughan said. "It is possible we could be looking at an announcement this calendar year."

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

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