New Zealand news August 17, 2013

Hadlee wants more Tests for New Zealand


New Zealand have just three Test wins against the top eight nations in the last five years, and Richard Hadlee, their former allrounder, doesn't think that record will improve unless the side gets to play more five-day matches. During those years New Zealand have had just one away series with more than two Tests, something which Hadlee thinks is affecting their progress.

"Our Test cricket is of great concern right now. We are rated, I think, at No 9 [New Zealand are No 8] which is our lowest ever ranking in Test cricket." Hadlee said in Bangalore. "What doesn't help us is when we travel overseas to play Test series, we invariably get a one-off Test or two-match Test series… Unless we get more Test cricket at home and away, particularly away, we are not going to get any better. Particularly the specialist Test players who want to play but are denied that opportunity."

Hadlee said the perception in other countries that New Zealand are not box-office material was hurting the team. "It appears our value to other countries is not significant enough to keep us long enough in their country to make decent money. I think there should be some commitment to honour future tour programmes."

What heartened Hadlee about New Zealand's Test prospects was the crop of emerging quick bowlers in the country. "Very inexperienced, very young. [Trent] Boult can swing it both ways, [Tim] Southee is really coming on, [Neil] Wagner is a good trier and there are a couple of good seamers in the background. Give us five years, I think we will be knocking over sides quite regularly, provided we score enough runs."

New Zealand have recently overhauled their selection process with former Australia coach John Buchanan and former Australia lawn bowls administrator Kim Littlejohn moving out. Earlier this week former New Zealand opener Bruce Edgar was named the country's general manager of national selection. "It's nice to get some of our former cricketers back on the block," said Hadlee, who was on the panel that interviewed Edgar. "Stephen Boock, who was a left-arm spinner, is the president of New Zealand Cricket. So, that's good. You will find on the board, one or two former players who want to be involved. When you've got cricket people involved, you can make cricket decisions."

Hadlee was in Bangalore, the venue where he broke the record for most Test wickets in 1988, on an invite from the Karnataka State Cricket Association as part of its platinum jubilee celebrations.

Over a nearly hour-long chat with journalists Hadlee reminisced about his career, and gave his views on many of the challenges facing the game today, including the problem of fixing. Rahul Dravid, in an interview to ESPNcricinfo earlier this month, had called for fixing to be made a criminal offence, but Hadlee proposed a different solution.

"It's a shame that it goes on and it has to be stamped out very quickly and people have to be made examples of and clearly banned, even take it a step further, even have their records erased for life in the game," Hadlee said. "I think the most severe penalty that can happen - even more than going to jail - is to have your record erased from the game."

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jon on August 23, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Over the last decade New Zealand hasn't been playing well enough to draw crowds home or away -- which is why no one wants to tour here, and is why we only get given 2 tests when we travel. The good news is that were starting to build a test team that can compete. Its up to the current crop to put some wins on the board and earn back some respect.

  • Dummy4 on August 18, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    From a Cross Tasman point of view, I must agree 100% - NZ doesn't get enough tests. They are a very good ODI side but they will not be a force unless they get more 3 and 4 test series. Believe it or not Australian fans want to see NZ as a force in cricket again. They have the potential - just this year they almost defeated an England side which is currently pummeling Australia. Last time NZ were in Australia they drew the series - a third test would have been a blockbuster. Getting rid of John Buchanan was a good move. Now just get more tests. The ICC should see to this

  • john on August 18, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Weldone sir Richard, breath of fresh air..In nz we are led to believe the blackcaps are trending well, rubbish..NZc and coach hesson seemed to be more focused on the odi game, quickest results in world rankings.Which is fine, but test cricket is the real game.Ross Taylor is our only top ten test ranked player, we need more and with nzc not as focused on testcricket is sending the wrong message to youth cricketiers.Our bowlers under Shane Bond have far exceeded most expectations, and have kept us sliping further down the rankings.The change has to come from the top to make a difference. The worldcup won't matter in ten years time but test cricket will always be the measuring stick of a real cricketing nation.

  • alesana on August 18, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    It should be compulsory that all test series be a minimum of 3. NZ players need to play more 4 & 5 day cricket if the want to get better. NZC should look at doulbling the number of 4 day domestic cricket matches & making sure NZ players are playing for their provinces more often, rather than playing more meaningless international limited overs cricket.

  • jared on August 18, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    Two test match series are a joke you can easily lose a game to the weather and end up with a one test series or even worse than that you could end up one each with no decider, the icc needs to grow a set here and make 3 test match series the minimum requirement for every tour, that would mean the likes of india and aussie can still have 5match series and the smaller nations still get enough test match cricket to improve and challenge the top teams, the neglect the likes of nz west indies, zimbabwe and srilanka to a less extent suffer is ruiening the game globally and if it continues these teams will fade into the distance, how can that be good for cricket. We can beat any team in the shorter forms because we play the same amount of odi's and t20's as the big nations, give us the same oppotunities in test and we will win more games.

  • paul on August 18, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Sadly Sir Richard is correct, but before you get a winning cricket team, you actually have to have the front office working properly and as many kiwis have seen over the last 12 months, that is not the case. I am very excited to see Mr Edgar come on board but I am also very disappointed in him for excepting a role beneath that of our present coach who is a nobody. What the team needs is the likes of a John Wright type coach..totally proven as a test player and a international coach....someone who has been there and done what is required and can pass onto his can someone like Mr Hesson every tell test players what to do...cant see it working and the sooner NZC changes the coach the sooner the team will start moving up the test playing order. I would have no problem Shane Bond taking over the full coaching job either..something has to change because a skipper averaging under 30 in his last 30 odd test innings and a coach who has never played first class cricket wont work

  • Rj on August 18, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    Of course Sir Richard is right. But there needs accountability from NZC administration for the way the game has been run over recent times. We all hope the recent clear out and new direction of NZC will help, but it then takes years of quality administration to see results. We don't have the talent of India, or England. We don't have the resources of the ECB. But that's no excuse for the history of bad admin and the effect has been a very poor performing test side. So in NZ we cannot just demand respect we must pay respect to our opposition by showing up with a genuine test side. And over time NZ will therefore become more marketable and bigger crowds will come. I agree with the comments about pacemen, and in 5 years I believe the bowling attack will have a couple of new players who will be stars, but the batsmen will still be average. NZC needs to get more players playing in the UK by way of player sponsorship. The biggest associations in NZ do no genuine player development.

  • ESPN on August 17, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Hadlee is dead right . We simply do not play enough test cricket If it means we have to play Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the Windies every year, until we are regularly beating them, then so be it If only to get the test players , regularly playing time, occupying the crease. Bowling long spells. Our spinners having time to develop

    Test cricket is king It's what all players success should be measured on The black caps need to play much more

    Plumb LBW

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    I am a big fan of New Zealand Cricket, but I will have to admit that their performance in the last five years or so has been pathetic. They have consistently lost to the top teams and did not even challenge them on most occasions. They have a fine bowling attack who have a lot of potential. Southee and Boult can develop into excellent fast bowlers. Batting is a concern, though. They have Ross Taylor but even he is not one to score runs consistently against the best of attacks in different conditions. Williamson is a great prospect and I hope he keeps getting better. Ryder is another really talented cricketer but his attitude is a huge problem. McCullum is far too unreliable and Guptill has not been successful in Test Cricket so far. Brownlie, Elliott, Rutherford still have a long way to go. It is sad, but it doesn't seem like NZ have a very bright future.

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    23 years after this man retired from test & first class cricket anything he says about today's game resonates- still - with an aura of respect & admiration befitting someone of his position and standing. Such an unassuming but remarkable figure and someone who I believe would still have a lot to offer NZ cricket. I saw him play a few times and IMHO he is and remains one of the greatest white fast bowlers of all time. His test statistics with the exception of McGrath perhaps are without equal & certainly he was the best bowler of the Botham, Khan, and Dev quartet. Indeed such as his test figures are the latter had to play another incredible 45!! tests to surpass his then world record of 431 wickets - equivalent to approximately another 5 years. His strike rate of a wicket every 8 overs took 14 years to be matched (and then improved upon) by any other comparable bowler from todays' modern era while his ODI bowling average of under 22 and econ of 3.30 is almost unprecedented.

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