More runs please

30 01 2010

Newly-appointed national coach Mark Greatbatch offers his views on his New Zealand role to Nagraj Gollapudi of Cricinfo with plenty of well-planned quotes to the fore.  His coaching will primarily focus on the team’s batting doldrums, leaving captain Daniel Vettori to continue his leadership role in the bowling department:

“In Test cricket you need to take 20 wickets and you also need to score a decent amount of runs. In the past, we have taken wickets but haven’t scored enough runs and that is one area we are looking to improve,” he told Cricinfo after a long Saturday.

Greatbatch, who played for New Zealand between 1988 and 1996, will perform the dual responsibility of being part of the national selection panel along with his new appointment. Interestingly, despite being head coach, it is reportedly understood that Greatbatch’s primary focus will remain the batting department with Daniel Vettori continuing to hold the rights on decision-making concerning strategies and selections. The appointment just puts an official stamp on the duties that Greatbatch has already been performing in the last few months.


Greatbatch understood the various challenges in the pipeline but was relaxed. His source of confidence remains the same as that of the whole of New Zealand: his captain, Vettori. “I admire the way he plays,” Greatbatch said in praise of Vettori, who started his career when his was ending. “He has his own methods. It is a little bit unique to him but again he has found his A game. He consistently performs with both ball and bat and is a great leader. He is nice and relaxed in the dressing room and I’m looking forward to complementing that.”

Source: Cricinfo, 30 January 2010


A bit like being on an oil rig in the North Sea

30 01 2010

Talking to Jeff Longley of The Press, former New Zealand test captain Jeff Crowe gives an insight into the life of an ICC match referee, a job he has undertaken for the past five years:

Crowe lives in Florida, where he has been based for the past seven years with his wife and two pre-school children, but is contemplating a move to Europe before the possibility of an eventual return to New Zealand.

“The beauty of this job is that you can live anywhere in the world,” he said.

“I’m often away for a month, which is full on because you follow the series then get a month off. It’s a bit like being on an oil rig in the North Sea.”

Aside from the jet-setting lifestyle and the hard work involved, Crowe touches on the new Umpires’ Review System and the one event his tenure is likely to be remembered for – the embarassing errors made by match officials at the 2007 World Cup final:

The teams came off for bad light but then went back out when the match should have been called off.

“It was one of those horror moments,” Crowe said.

“We just got it wrong and seemed to freeze. Somebody said something about coming back and it seemed to be lost that we had completed 20 overs to ensure a match.”

Source: The Press, 30 January 2010

A moon boot for Dermot

28 01 2010

Speaking to Sam Worthington of the Dominion Post, embattled Central Districts coach and former England international Dermot Reeve, who recently accused current England international Ravi Bopara of ball-tampering in the New Zealand domestic competition, points out that even though the team pays to have him flown in from his home in Sydney for each match, it’s still less pricey than last year when he lived in Queenstown, because flights from Sydney are cheaper than flights to and from Queenstown:

”As far as I’m concerned I’m at the final and I’m the coach,” Reeve said.

”I don’t really want to get into hot water with New Zealand Cricket.

”It’s very much news to me, that apparently I’ve lost the respect of the dressing room.

”It sounds to me that there’s a bit of stirring going on.”

Reeve said he would ”absolutely” fulfil his contract through till the end of the season though [CD CEO Blair] Furlong wasn’t willing to offer the same guarantee.

Muddying the waters is the fact Reeve has torn a tendon in his foot.

”I’m going to require a moon boot and a bit of time off my leg to make sure that it heals. The last thing I want to do is risk snapping my Achilles and being out for six months.”

His trips to and from Sydney have raised eyebrows, but Reeve said it was normal practice and the entire squad had dispersed.

”At CD, everybody gets flown home between matches. They fly me to where my family and my wife is, which is Sydney, rather than flying me to Queenstown like they did last year. It’s no different. Flights are cheaper to Sydney than to Queenstown.”

Source: Dominion Post, 28 December 2010

One eye on the World Cup

27 01 2010

Former New Zealand batsman Mark Greatbatch, who played for the national side from 1988 to 1996 and is now a national selector, discusses some of the new and somewhat unorthodox picks for the New Zealand teams to play Bangladesh with Sam Worthington from the Dominion Post.  The teams include new caps Peter Ingram and Andy McKay, who have a combined age of 60.  Greatbatch says they’re picking players with a view to the buildup for the Twenty20 World Cup this year and 2011’s one-day international World Cup:

Greatbatch said McKay had improved greatly over the past three months.

“He’s got a great attitude, he’s fit and strong and he’s been consistent. He’s a wicket-taker and he’s got a bit more pace than some.”

Greatbatch said selectors had one eye on this year’s Twenty20 World Cup and next year’s one-day World Cup. McKay had leapfrogged the likes of Brent Arnel because of his point of difference as a left-armer.

Greatbatch said Ingram was also in contention for the test side, which is named early next month.

Source: Dominion Post, 26 January 2010

The occasional moment of doubt

27 01 2010

One of the newcomers to the New Zealand team for the shorter forms of the game, 31-year-old Central Districts batsman Peter Ingram tells the Herald’s David Leggat that he was a little surprised when he was finally called up for national duty.  It remains to be seen if he can establish himself as an opening batsman in the upcoming brief tour by Bangladesh, but he’s just glad to be given the opportunity:

Drums have been thumping for Ingram for some time, based on consistently strong performances over the last few seasons, although more so in the first-class game. Ingram admitted he was not immune to the occasional moment of doubt whether the call would ever come.

“The odd time, but you just kept telling yourself it’s not worth thinking about,” he said.

“I’ve had lots of support from family and friends, who said just keep playing, try to score some runs and if it comes, it comes.”

If there was an eyebrow-raising element to Ingram’s selection, it is that it came in the shorter versions of the game, rather than the test side, where his case is stronger.

Source: NZ Herald, 26 January 2010

Conscious of his legacy

27 01 2010

In a wide-ranging and insightful interview with Aaron Lawton from the tabloid Sunday News, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori discusses his style of leadership, his goal of achieving 400 test wickets and 4000 test runs before he retires, and his views on the cricketing legacy he will leave once he leaves the team:

“I suppose my legacy is and it isn’t in my mind,” he says. “I try to tell myself that it’s not a big deal but it is, I guess, what you are judged on at the end of your career.

“Primarily, you are remembered based on your results. I don’t think too many people remember anything else.

“There’s two legacies. One is the legacy I will leave in terms of results and the other is what I leave on the guys who played under me.

“Those are some pretty important things and in the end if my legacy is that the Black Caps have improved in our test game, that, I hope, would be viewed upon favourably.”

Source: Sunday News, 24 January 2010