x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Wrong call to let the Wright man go

The chances of John Wright and John Buchanan working in harmony were always slim given their different philosophies on the game.

John Wright work ethics involve a more hands-on approach.
John Wright work ethics involve a more hands-on approach.

The inevitable happened in New Zealand cricket when John Wright announced he would step down as head coach.

The chances of Wright and John Buchanan, the director of cricket, working in harmony were always slim given their different philosophies on the game.

Wright has an intuitive, common sense approach to cricket, which is at odds with Buchanan's empirical methods.

Wright's approach seemed to be working for New Zealand. Appointed in December 2010, he led them to the semi-final of the World Cup a few months later. Under his watch the Kiwis also won their first Test against Australia in 18 years.

The board wanted to keep him until the 2015 World Cup, but Wright was not enamoured by the theories and over-complicated approach of his boss.

After his appointment as director of cricket last September, the former Australia coach disbanded the three-man selection system and appointed fellow Aussie Kim Littlejohn as the national selection manager.

Littlejohn drew up a pie chart, where the most important selection criterion is "significant performance" (35 per cent), followed by "consistent performance" (25 per cent), "contribution to the team" (15 per cent), fitness (10 per cent) and selectors' intuition (five per cent). This did not sit well with Wright.

The departure of Wright sharpens the focus on Buchanan to prove his processes and buzz words have a place in cricket.

They worked with a great Australian team, but failed at Middlesex and the Kolkata Knight Riders.

sports@thenational.ae

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