x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

John Wright to move on from New Zealand cricket coach role

The incumbent cites compatibility issues with John Buchanan but has no regrets at the end of his contract.

Coach John Wright had difference of opinion and style with national director John Buchanan.
Coach John Wright had difference of opinion and style with national director John Buchanan.

WELLINGTON // John Wright says ideological differences with national director of coaching John Buchanan were a key factor in his decision not to seek reappointment as New Zealand coach after next month's tour to the West Indies.

The former Test opener has coached New Zealand since late 2010, leading the team to the semi-finals of last year's ICC World Cup and to its first Test win over Australia in Australia in 26 years.

David White, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said Wright, who had a successful stint as India coach in the early 2000s, was offered a contract extension but had declined a new term.

Wright's decision follows media reports of tension in his relationship with the polarising former Australia coach Buchanan.

Buchanan's academic and systems-oriented style also had critics during his tenure with Australia, most notably star legspinner Shane Warne.

Wright told a news conference on Tuesday he was reluctant to comment on his differences of opinion with Buchanan.

"I think he's probably in a better position to do that," Wright said. "We're probably not that different, we just see things a little differently.

"As I explained earlier, the planning systems that John [Buchanan] wants to implement are probably suited to another head coach.

"I think it's just a difference of style. We see things very differently. I wish him and everyone else success."

Wright said he felt the end of his current contract term was the right time to move on.

"I never really envisaged going through to the 2015 Cricket World Cup, so the change has to be made at some stage," he said.

"During the review process with the current cricket director, we both agreed the planning systems that he [Buchanan] wants to implement don't complement the style and the way I coach, so that was another factor.

"It's part of sport. I've enjoyed the opportunity to coach the New Zealand cricket team."

Some New Zealand media speculated that Buchanan may take over from Wright on an interim basis when his contract ends in July.

New Zealand has won three of nine Tests played under Wright, 12 of 27 one-day internationals and seven of 10 Twenty20 internationals. White had made re-signing Wright a priority after taking over from Justin Vaughan as NZC chief executive but has been unable to convince the former New Zealand opening batsman to stay on.

"John has been an outstanding servant for cricket in New Zealand over a long time and it is disappointing to lose someone of his calibre," White said. "We were keen to see him continue his head coach role. However, we understand and respect his decision to look for another challenge.

"The fighting performance of the Black Caps at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and again in the Test victory over Australia spoke volumes about John as a coach and he can be proud of the way he has advanced the current team."

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