At the end of the day Trist looks at the sunset like the old cowboy

Rex Clementine

August 9, 2001

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Virender Shewag's spectacular 69-ball century knocked New Zealand out of the Coca-Cola Cup and brought to an end David Trist's two-year tenure as the CLEAR Black Caps coach.

Originally a right arm medium pacer for Canterbury (he played 24 first class matches) he took over from Steve Rixon after the 1999 England tour after spells with the Dutch national team and with Eastern Province, with whom he secured the Currie Cup in 1989.

"So close, but not close enough," was how he summed up the Coca-Cola Cup. "This was like a roller coaster ride, similar to what I have experienced during the last two years. It was disappointing for the players as well for me. We promise a lot but don't really provide the goods at the end of the day."

Trist lost his first Test series as coach, against India in the subcontinent, won his second convincingly against the West Indies at home, before a three-nil thrashing by Australia as they marched towards their record run.

Then it was off to Africa, where they surprised the world by winning the ICC KnockOut Trophy in Nairobi and followed it up by defeating Zimbabwe. South Africa though proved a tougher nut to crack and, as injuries set in ­ no Chris Cairns, Daniel Vettori, Dion Nash and Roger Twose ­ and New Zealand were easily defeated. Trist's last Test series, against Pakistan at home, was drawn.

Trist looks back modestly on a relatively successful period in New Zealand cricket: "The success we had was because of a fine team effort. I don't think I made that much of a difference to help New Zealand cricket's revival."

"I thought we played very well in Test Matches and we are placed fourth in the world at the moment," he says. "I am glad most people say now that the New Zealand side is a competitive one."

"The victory in the mini world cup was special, because New Zealand has never won a major tournament," he said "I felt that we played exceptionally well to beat Pakistan and India in the semi-final and the final on pitches that were similar to the sub-continent."

"Another highlight during my stint was nailing the West Indies fivenil, when we played some really good positive cricket. The victory against Pakistan was special too, because we won despite a lot of injuries and with a very young side."

However, Trist feels that New Zealand could have achieved more than they did: " I leave with some regret. In one-day games the success percentage was lower than it should have been. We were unable to convert critical moments into victories. Losing Cairns was a big blow, but you have to expect that in international cricket."

According to Trist the last two years have been a harmonious one in the dressing room: "We never had a cross moment. Nobody ever had a reason to dispute on anything. There was open discussion and I think that helps hugely."

Was it sad to be leaving? "There is a certain amount of disappointment in the departure, but, at the end of the day, you are not there to make friends but to produce better cricketers."

Trist feels it's the right time for him to step down after serving for close to two years: "I thought two years was enough for me. The roller coaster ride was a bit too fanatic to me. I am getting older and I think it's the right time. A defeat was not the perfect way to sign off, but that's just the way it goes. You keep your head high and at the end of the day you look at the sunset like the old cowboy."

He looks set to continue coaching cricket in New Zealand: "I plan to do some work in my local city Christchurch and I want to work with the up and coming players. Some way or another I will continue with cricket - I owe it much more than it owes me"

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