New Zealand Cricket's selection deckchairs have been rearranged to give new coach John Bracewell the final say, while previous chairman Sir Richard Hadlee becomes selection manager.
A new structure, to complement the changes in the coaching and management of the side, has been put in place. But the only real change in the selection is the transfer of final say. Hadlee is happy with the change and said it had only taken him a weekend to think over whether he wanted to be involved when the situation was put to him.
New Zealand Cricket's chief executive Martin Snedden, a former team-mate of Hadlee's, said: "Ultimately, the structure being introduced is consistent with the structure that has been introduced for the team's management. Under that system, the coach is responsible and accountable for all cricket-related functions with the TelstraClear Black Caps unit. It therefore follows that the coach should have the authority to ultimately determine which players are selected."
Two more selectors will be announced by August 8. Snedden said incumbent selectors Ross Dykes, also a former convener, and Brian McKechnie were interested in being part of the new panel.
Until Bracewell is in his position from December 1, acting New Zealand coach Ashley Ross will be part of the selection panel along with Hadlee, and the two appointees who will choose the side to tour India and Pakistan from September to November. From December, the panel will then be contracted through until May 2005.
Hadlee said today, however, that Bracewell will be consulted over the team to tour India and Pakistan, and he planned to talk with him this evening. Snedden said that in many ways the selection system will carry on as it has but under the structure now in place, if the coach was adamant he wanted something then he would have the ultimate responsibility in selection.
It involved better processes and it would work because of the quality of people who would be involved, Snedden added.
Hadlee said he was excited by the change. He understood the need for a new structure, was aware there was going to be one and was asked to have some input into it. Hadlee said that as chairman he tried to get unanimous decisions in selection, and if he couldn't then he tried for consensus. In the three years as chairman he had only once employed his casting vote.
He said that every decision during the World Cup in South Africa had been unanimous. Hadlee said in his view the coach had to be a member of the selection panel while he said the input of the captain was important, and the relationship between Stephen Fleming and the selectors had grown enormously over the last few years.
Snedden said he was delighted that Hadlee was prepared to stay on, and that while new processes were being introduced he had always wanted his experience to be retained.