New Zealand news June 9, 2011

Part-time selectors 'a bit of an anachronism'

ESPNcricinfo staff

John Buchanan, the New Zealand director of cricket, has said he pushed for radical change to the selection process because the old panel of part-time selectors had become "a bit of an anachronism".

NZC has done away with the national selection panel, replacing it with a full-time national selection manager who will deliberate with the team coach John Wright on all matters of choosing teams. Mark Greatbatch will hold the role in a caretaker capacity until the prime candidate is found.

Buchanan, leaning heavily on his experience as coach of the Australian team between 1999 and 2007, said he had found the system of part-time panellists did not gel readily with a fully professional environment.

"I've always found it's very difficult to have part-time people - albeit well-meaning people who understand the game - being involved in full-time sport. I think that's a bit of an anachronism," Buchanan told the New Zealand Herald.

"Because it's new, it does challenge tradition. I was able to run those arguments past a range of people and everybody had their various views, but it received solid support. In the end, like any system, we've got to get the right person, then make it work."

Buchanan's ideas did not always meet with a warm response during his time in Australia, and his assertion that the team coach should have a greater final say on selection than the captain is guaranteed to raise old hackles.

"There's no question the head coach and captain must have a very close working relationship," he said. "Beyond that it's very clear to me the head coach needs to make the final decisions. Sometimes the captain, as a player, may be one of the persons who has to be removed.

"It's very difficult to place the captain in that role and also in the role of selecting other people that they've then got to walk out on the field with."

Appointed to the director's job in April, Buchanan has made it plain that he wants New Zealand to develop a reputation for progressive thinking on the game.

"I think NZC has a great capacity to do things in advance of everybody else," he said. "This is one of the first steps towards changing a little of the way NZC goes about what it does, becomes a little bolder. What we operate with now, is it the best, can it be better? The selection system is our first toe in the water."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rajaram on June 12, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    There is no doubt that John Buchanasn was the BEST Coach Australia ever had.So better listen to what he says.

  • Mike on June 11, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    Buchanan's record/ability has not really been tested. I could have managed Aus from 1999 and 2007. The team selected itself during that period. How will he do with lesser stocks (no disrespect intended) remains to be seen.

  • Philip on June 10, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    I have never understood why a national captain needs to be on a national selection panel. After all, this isn't club-land. His views can always be sought outside the panel if needs be and then ignored if needs be.

  • Bryn on June 10, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    well done NZ. CA-TAKE A LEAF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Marty on June 9, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    I think it is an anachronism having John Buchanan directing cricket it NZ.

  • Paul on June 9, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    New Zealand, to its detriment, will soon learn that John Buchanan is not the guy to turn their fortunes around.

    I could have coached the Australia Buchanan was fortunate enough to have and achieved the same results.

    That side achieved its greatness DESPITE John Buchanan.

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    I would be looking forward to what John brings to the table when he coaches a rather mediocre side like NZ. Coaching a highly talented and self-driven team like Australia is an entirely different proposition-in fact, I wonder whether Ricky and Co. needed coaching at all!

  • Mark on June 9, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Part-time selectors?? How quaint Kiwis...

  • Andrew on June 9, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Very interesting article. It is true that in most sports the coach is the one who has the MOST say in team selections They, (coach), pick the best team, then a captain is selected out of the team that is picked. The Ashes fiasco really needed somebody's head on a plate, so far we've had a fielding coach's contract not renewed, a selector resigning to take on a new (better), role elsewhere, & Simon Katich losing a central contract. How many of those persons are directly responsible for a failed campaign (worst in 25yrs)? Partially Boonie as a selector, small responsibility to Young the fielding coach (our fielding was not great), and ZERO fault of Katich! So who takes the blame? In the NRL/AFL, poor performance by the team - eventually the coach gets the sack. In Oz case - Nielsen, but how much say did he have in the side & tactics? I assume he has had little influence on team selections. On the other hand I do like the idea of robust selection debate with a clued in Panel.

  • Jeremy on June 9, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    I think its about time we get people who know what their doing to have control instead of a bunch of nobodys having their say. We only had A.Donald for awhile and I saw bowlers pitching it up and getting edges, bowls and LBWs more often than not. This goes to show how much improvement NZ gets with proper people at the roles given.

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