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Wright wins in New Zealand selection shake-up

ESPNcricinfo staff

June 8, 2011

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New Zealand coach John Wright watches his team sink to defeat, New Zealand v Pakistan, 3rd Twenty20, Christchurch, December 30, 2010
John Wright will have the final say on New Zealand selections © Getty Images
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The coach John Wright will become the major powerbroker in New Zealand's team selection after a radical shake-up of the panel. In one of John Buchanan's first major decisions as New Zealand's director of cricket, he has announced the disbanding of the existing selection panel, which will be replaced by a full-time national selection manager who will work closely with Wright.

Mark Greatbatch has been given the job in an acting capacity and he and Wright will effectively work as a two-man selection panel, with Wright given the final say in case of disagreement, a move that fits with Buchanan's push for greater accountability. The national selection manager will be responsible for all men's and women's cricket from Under-19s through to the Black Caps and the White Ferns.

"It is my experience it is important to streamline the number of people who impact on team decisions and team dynamics," Buchanan said. "We have therefore sought to simplify the selection process to ensure greater consistency of selections, feedback and integration of playing pathways from youth, through first class to international cricket.

"A large part of the role will be liaising with our first-class coaches and assessing their views on the leading players in our domestic competitions as well as consulting with high performance staff, cricket stakeholders and of course the captain. It is a challenging role that requires the skills of a highly organised individual with great cricket knowledge and who is respected among the cricket fraternity."

The innovative move means Glenn Turner and Lance Cairns have been axed from the selection panel, although both men could yet apply to become the national selection manager. Greatbatch will fill the role temporarily, giving him an important say in New Zealand's central contract list for 2011-12, before the job is readvertised ahead of the next international tour, to Zimbabwe in October.

"While New Zealand Cricket has chosen to move away from a traditional national selection panel in favour of a new system, it is important to recognise the selectors over the past years have done a great job," Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief executive said. "The new system introduced by John Buchanan was supported and approved by the NZC board."

Buchanan took the reins at NZC in April and his other major decision to oversee during the coming weeks will be the appointment of a new captain to replace Daniel Vettori. The New Zealand side also needs a new team manager, to take over from Dave Currie, and the Dominion Post has reported the former Otago coach Mike Hesson is the favourite for the role.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by zn264 on (June 9, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

I agree with houns - we should be playing more cricket. We were going to play Bangly over there but it was too hot or something? Pfftt.

Posted by Ryan_H on (June 8, 2011, 20:13 GMT)

Given this development I can see a time in the not so distant future where one man will be making all the decisions in NZ cricket right from from Under-19s through to the Black Caps and the White Ferns , men and women - you guessed it right - Dan the man!. Just like he does for all on the field activities. That wont be a bad idea I guess. I think they are just building the stage for him to take charge.

Posted by mthw on (June 8, 2011, 9:24 GMT)

Why is New Zealand playing no cricket this winter???? Our next tour is against Zimbabwe in October or something.... Surely we could play someone else before then??? Even a tour to play another country's "A" team, would be more beneficial to NZ cricket than playing no cricket at all.... This is why we are so far behind the rest of the test playing nations in the longer form of the game.... We don't play enough cricket!!!

Posted by howizzat on (June 8, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

A good reform. There will be easy consensus, no regional bias and accountability. The selector will definitely enjoy the job.

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