New Zealand news December 24, 2010

Unexpected call but easy decision - John Wright

ESPNcricinfo staff

John Wright may have had just 36 hours to make a decision after getting the unexpected call to take charge of the New Zealand team, but has said it was an easy call to make.

"I thought once Mark [Greatbatch] got the opportunity that's probably it," Wright told the Press. "My appointment was very sudden and unexpected. But it wasn't that difficult a choice.

"To be honest a day into the job you think, given the track record of some of our coaches, it's a pretty demanding task. You get a honeymoon period when people say nice things, and then you hope results go your way."

Wright was hugely successful as India's first foreign coach, in the early 2000s, when he catalysed the improvement in the side's overseas' record, and oversaw their march to the 2003 World Cup final. Following that stint, Wright had several coaching offers but refused them all until his decision to join New Zealand, who are currently going through a miserable run of form.

"When I finished in India I was pretty burnt out," Wright said. "I needed a spell [away from the game]. I had quite a few offers in that period and there were a couple I thought a lot about but they just weren't right. Then I started working for New Zealand Cricket putting together a replacement structure for the academy, and a winter programme for our promising kids coming through the ranks."

New Zealand have lost 11 straight one-dayers, including clean sweeps in Bangladesh and in India, leaving their World Cup preparations in complete disarray. Despite the desperate situation, Wright plans to remain in the background - a style that worked well when he was with India - and guide the side past the troubled times.

"I will keep things very simple. There'll be a period of getting to know each other. With any change it takes a bit of settling down. We'll sit down and have a chat and go out with a simple game plan and see where we get to. I've always tried to help players understand what needs to be achieved to win games. That's simple stuff.

"But you don't want to tell them how to do it because the good ones work it out for themselves. Coaching's not about telling or ordering. It's more about helping create an environment where good players who want to learn can get on."

Wright's laidback approach to coaching has always earned its share of criticism, and he hopes to respond by producing results. "I've got a pretty good understanding of myself and I expect to be described in all sorts of ways in the next 15 months or so. But in the end you're judged by the progress you make. When I finish this job, I just hope I've made a difference. Then people can judge you."