New Zealand news September 10, 2011

Turner criticises new selection set-up


Glenn Turner, the former New Zealand captain, isn't surprised by the snub during the appointment process for a new National Selection Manager (NSM). Turner, who was part of the national selection panel for the last six years, said the job description "automatically cancelled out most people with what I believe are the necessary qualifications for an international selector".

Hours before an elated nation brought in the rugby World Cup back where it all began in 1987, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) slipped in the announcement of arguably the biggest experiment with the way professional international cricket teams are selected. It appointed an Australian lawn bowls official, Kim Littlejohn, as the NSM, overlooking two former captains, Turner and Ken Rutherford, and the incumbent Mark Greatbatch.

Turner said he applied for the job after conveying that he would only be interested "in a position which was inclusive when it came to making decisions, where egos and self-interest were set aside.

"I needed to find out whether my skills would be used," Turner told ESPNcricinfo. "They have been rejected, so we are probably better off without each other."

Turner's application for the job seemed more of an argument against the new process for selecting teams. According to the NZC, Littlejohn will be "responsible for establishing a comprehensive profiling system as players progress along the pathway of representing New Zealand, and in doing so use a network of cricket coaches and key stakeholders". He will be joined by the national coach John Wright on the two-man selection panel.

Turner did not agree with the idea. "When I read the job description I felt that it did not cover what I believe is necessary to take full part in selecting and developing the Blackcaps [New Zealand]," he said. "The position appeared to be experimental and more about an assistant collecting data and coming up with some performance measures, along with office administration skills. The job description preferred the applicant to have 'Post Graduate qualifications in Sports Management or Business Management', which if followed automatically cancelled out most people with what I believe are the necessary qualifications for an international selector.

"Nevertheless, I took up the opportunity to express what I believed was important when selecting cricket teams. In particular, trained independent eyes - free from conflicts of interest, ones that have experience and the art of talent-identifying."

Regarding the possible outcomes of the experiment, Turner said: "I've seen a lot of theories come and go over the years, and they mostly fail due to a lack of process. For theories to be applied they need to be supported by reasoning from known facts."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on September 12, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    NZ's basic issue is not about not knowing who's decent, that's obvious enough from domestic results, but about getting first class cricketers to step up to the international challenge. We need to have a wide pool of players fighting to get better, not satisfied with mediocrity. We need more from the Adams, Franklin's and Sinclair's of the world. Being able to quantify what they need to do, specifying demands, and having benchmarks and goals, would appear a step in the right direction. Losing 4-0 to Bangladesh tells me things have not been optimized previously. I'm glad to see change. I love Turner - and would like to see him doing what he can really add value at - improving the boys batting.

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    -Regarding the possible outcomes of the experiment, Turner said: "I've seen a lot of theories come and go over the years, and they mostly fail due to a lack of process. For theories to be applied they need to be supported by reasoning from known facts."

    I love how he criticizes a system builder and then implies the word theories and mixes in that the idea's fail because of a lack of process. The whole idea of systems is to create a process, which grants a better access to a wealth of players, rather than who is your friend. No one said a formula, but this grants an unbiased approach, which is a severe problem in New Zealand sports. I think qualifications mean a lot more than just having played the sport, regardless of the level.

    Glen Turner is an out of date Dinosaur.

  • Dummy4 on September 11, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    barring da 2011 world cup; da last 12 months hav been a nightmare for its good to hav a new management including da captain in order to bring back NZ to atleast in da top 4 in the rankings.

  • Khair ul on September 11, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    If Turner wasn't suitable, that's fine. Why not Rutherford or Greatbach. You do need someone there with a passion for NZ cricket. How can you expect that from an Aussie lawn bowling official? No wonder NZ cricket is not going anywhere. Australia were very clever in choosing the Kiwi Robbie Deans as their rugby coach. This is working well because Robbie Deans passionately wanted the All Blacks job which he didn't get so he is out to prove they made the wrong decision. What is Kim Littlejohn try to prove?

  • Paul on September 11, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    "Systems and Processes " allow for selectors to be able to see where the talent is out there. Better than throwing darts at a board which has been done for years or having nudge nudge wink wink kids brought up to be looked at. Jobs for the boys is why cricket around the world finds itself all over the shop talent wise. This sort of new role description scares many old timer cricketers because they just don't get it.....dinosaurs died out too. This is all about uncovering real performers not wannabes.

  • Nick on September 10, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    A very Buchananesque solution. Hearing the words systems and processes come out of his mouth sound a bit too much like John Mitchel style pseudo-management psychobable for any New Zealand sports fan to be comfortable. After Buchanan has ruined Australian crickets dominance, why has he been allowed to infect the NewZealand setup? The first symptom of this is hiring a bowls selector as the chief of selectors. We have enough trouble stopping our top players from ditching the national setup for lucrative T20 leagues. This aint going to help!

  • Dennis on September 10, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    Glen Turner criticising NZ cricket ! whats new .

  • Dummy4 on September 10, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Glenn Turner's trained eyes often picked players well before they were ready, he is a perfect example of why NZ needs this role. It's a brave decision, but I think it's a good one.

  • david on September 10, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    you have had your time. let the ex players who have retired in the last 10 years or so get on with the selection process now. dpk

  • Jeremy on September 10, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    NZ did what they wanted to do for long enough, and we haven't gotten anywhere with it. If you want NZ to start being a winning side at ODIs and maybe Test, you need to get proper people for the job, not your buddies. *cough* bracewell

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