Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
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."