New Zealand Cricket has appointed John Wright as coach of the Black Caps.
Rumours abound that before the decision was made, there was a clandestine break-in at the National headquarters in Christchurch and that the perpetrators of this are believed to be logic and common sense.
That they were able to infiltrate the minds of CEO Justin Vaughan and the Board of Directors has been a remarkable feat. For so long now, Wright has been fobbed off by the National body in regards to the Black Caps coaching position on the grounds that he didn’t have the organisational skills to do the job to a high level. A rather peculiar claim when his success with India from 2000-2005 is taken into consideration.
With Wright’s promotion to the head coach’s position, incumbent Mark Greatbatch has been moved sideways to a selector’s role. He now heads a three man panel, along with former internationals Lance Cairns and Glenn Turner, who will select the team independently of the coach and captain. Daniel Vettori, along with high performance director Roger Mortimer who is no longer with NZC, is the big loser in this sad debacle that is eleven individuals attempting to impersonate a cricket team. No longer is he the kingmaker in the operation as he has been stripped bare of the majority of his power. Dethroned of his selector’s position, Vettori will now be left to concentrate on his role as captain and player.
How the overhaul of the operating procedure of the Black caps will affect Vettori remains to be seen. It can’t be easy on his ego to be taken down numerous levels so publicly. But, with a record of one win from the previous fifteen one-dayers, something had to give. New Zealand Cricket was left with no choice but to dismantle the present regime. An effervescent bundle of high performance, this lot was not. Sure, they put in two respectable efforts in the test series in India recently. But, it seems, that was an aberration.
Wright will have his hands full with this lot. Not being used to answering to anyone but themselves, player power had been allowed off its leash to run rampant over the last few years. Playing personal deciding what is best for the team, but appearing to lack the nous to know which is the best road taken. Get away with it they could, due to the lack of quality second tier back-up. New Zealand simply does not have quality or quantity to be able to afford to lose the top echelon on personnel. So NZC bowed to their demands. But, no longer.
Clearly, for New Zealand Cricket, the recent losing streak was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Something had to give. And it did. NZC got tough, bit the bullet, swept away the pieces no longer needed and spruced up a few other bits, virtually admitting they were wrong not to have headhunted Wright many moons ago.
Don’t expect miracles from Wright, though. With only two months until the World Cup, there is little hope that he can turn around what are currently the biggest under-achievers in New Zealand sport in that little a time. Even less hope that the upcoming tour by Pakistan will throw some success in their laps.
No, more than likely a twelve to eighteen month trek through the highs and lows of the cricketing mountains and valleys awaits the soldiers. And if they don’t like Wright’s way of doing things? Simple really, release them from their contracts and invite them to go off and make the money they so covet in the hit and giggle that is the IPL. If that’s what tickles their fancy, then so be it.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, let the selectors choose eleven men that will give their all for their country. Sure, they mightn’t be to the standard of the current crop of playing staff, but, then, even if they lose heavily they wouldn’t be doing any worse than their supposed superiors are at the present time. And at least they will bleed for their country.
Which is just John Wright’s type of cricketer.