Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
Justin Vaughan has cited the need to spend more time with his family as the major reason for his decision to step down as the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket. Vaughan, 44, insisted it was entirely his own decision to finish at the end of November, having spent four years in the position after he replaced Martin Snedden in 2007.
Snedden could be one of the front-runners to take the job for a second time, given that his role as the head of the 2011 Rugby World Cup organising team will soon be redundant. Vaughan said he made his decision based on the needs of his family, and also to allow the new chief executive plenty of time in the role ahead of the 2015 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
"It's something that I've been conscious of over the last few months, around the balance of the needs of my family and the requirements of the business," Vaughan said. "I've been spending a lot of time recently overseas and I think every time I go away it's gnawing at me that really I ought to be spending time with my children, who are growing up.
"Also from an organisational point of view, with the 2015 World Cup hosting being so important, I think a new CEO needs a year or two under their belt to fully maximise their potential. Adding up all those pieces made me feel that I was better off making the decision sooner rather than later."
Vaughan's departure will come at the end of a period of significant change for New Zealand Cricket. In the past 12 months they have appointed a new coach, John Wright; a new captain, Ross Taylor; a new bowling coach, Damien Wright; and a new Black Caps team manager, Mike Sandle.
But the biggest changes have been to the structure of the high-performance programme itself. John Buchanan has been installed in the newly-created role of director of cricket, and one of his moves has been to change the make-up of the selection panel.
The little-known Australian, Kim Littlejohn, will be the national selection manager and will choose teams along with the head coach, Wright. Vaughan's decision will take some stability away from the changing organisation, but he said he was confident NZC was on the right path, and he needed to spend more time with his three children, aged 13, 11 and seven.
"I feel now that the key people have been in place now for a while, and in the end I just felt that the needs of my family were significant and I couldn't continue to do the job properly, which requires a lot of international travel, and commit to the time I think my family needs at the moment," he said. "I made my decision on that basis.
"It's entirely of my own accord, 100%. I am conscious there's been change and certainly a good chunk of me would love to be able to stay and see the fruits of what's been planted, because I really believe there's huge opportunities for New Zealand Cricket and the foundations have now been laid. But my personal circumstances and my desire to spend more time at home has really overridden the part of me that would love to stay and be involved."
Vaughan said his biggest regret was that he would not be part of the organisation for the 2015 World Cup, which he said presented a major opportunity for cricket in the country. However, he said he was pleased with the progress NZC had made during his time in charge, which included growing the revenue of the organisation by 60%.
"If you look back over the last four or five years, we've made some great strides," he said. "We've got an international programme which is extremely good, with the new FTP with frequent tours by England and India. We've also got a great partnership arrangement with our players' association now for the next eight years.
"I think we've got the right structures and people in place around our elite cricket area with John Buchanan as director of cricket and John Wright as the head coach of the Black Caps. There are emerging opportunities, areas like the United States, which we need to build upon.
"But I suppose in terms of future focus, building on those opportunities but also fully capitalising on the World Cup in 2015, that will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. It should be brilliant for cricket in this country in lots of ways. We're seeing that at the moment with rugby. Cricket will have that opportunity in three and a bit years' time. We've got to be fully prepared and fully ready to make the most of that."
NZC will begin the search for a replacement immediately. The chairman of NZC, Chris Moller, said Vaughan would be missed both nationally and globally. "I know Justin is highly regarded by his international colleagues," Moller said, "and has been very effective and influential in terms of his work with the ICC and cricket CEOs around the world."