New Zealand player-coach problems continue

New Zealand player-coach problems continue

Post by Chris Ow » Sun, 28 Apr 1996 04:00:00


  Other cricket teams must laugh at the problems New Zealand seems
to inflict on itself.  I, for one, can hardly imagine Australia
or South Africa going through the same rigamarole that New
Zealand is going through at the moment.

To summarize what has happened so far:  Chris Cairns and Adam
Parore have both withdrawn from the current cricket tour to the
West Indies due to injury.  Chris Cairns had recieved clearance
to leave the party after the second test match anyway, to fulfil
county commitments with Nottinghamshire.  Adam Parore had sought
and been refused similar clearance for business reasons (the
matches in question are one day fixtures against Bermuda).

  Newspaper reports gave the impression that Cairns had ruled
himself out of taking any part in the test series.  Thus it was
surprise to see him batting for Notts barely a few days later,
with Notts management saying the injury was "only a niggle", and
he would be playing as a batter in a first class match at the
same time as the second test.

  The New Zealand news media sensed disharmony in the ranks, and
the vultures of New Zealand sports journalism immediately
pounced on the carcass with the promise of a "Coach-Player Rift":
the bane of NZ cricket last year.  In the last few days the
entire matter has been publicly bludgeoned out in the news media,
with the management team of Turner and Lee Germon on one side,
and Cairns, Parore and Martin Crowe (!) on the other.

  In the interests of fairness, this is what the two sides have
been saying:

  Cairns (television interview on Sportsnight):  He felt there
was a breakdown in communication between himself and Glenn
Turner.  Turner lacked "man-management skills";  Cairns felt
Turner needed to realise that players were different and needed
to be treated differently.  He stated that while he felt the
strongest about the issue, other players agree with him.

  Crowe (also interviewed on Sportsnight as "expert witness"):
Felt that gap between players and coach had existed all season.
Named Cairns and Parore as two who felt particularly aggrieved.
Suggested that players were often mystified by Turner's decisions
on practices procedures, teams, tactics, which seemed to be
handed down like gospel (my words not his - but I hope you get
the idea).  Criticized Turner for not praising the players
enough.  Said that Cairns was an emotional player, whereas Turner
was more calculating, but he (Crowe) found Cairns to be best
prepared and most professional member on the team.

  Lee Germon (interviewed TV3 news following day):  Cairns was as
much to blame for the situation as anyone else.  He had cut
himself off from the team several weeks ago.  He represented a
minority within the team,  and most players were happy with the
management style.

  Glenn Turner (interviewed TV1 news same time): Cairns and
Parore were the exceptions in the team.  Admitted that while
praising players to the moon was not his style, denied that a lack
of praise existed in the team.  Suggested some players were
immature in asking to be treated differently.  Regarded Crowe's
comments as an unecessary intrusion by someone no longer involved
with the side.

  Canterbury coach Denish Aberhart was also interviewed, sort of
as a neutral third party who had worked with both Germon and
Cairns.  He said that the players had moved from a management
structure where they had a lot of freedom and a lot of influence,
to a highly disciplined setup.  He said some transitional pains
were inevitable, but the latter was probably a better situation.
He said that the team spirit and "family" feeling that existed in
the Canterbury side had taken a long time to buildup.

  Now finally here are some comments of my own.  There are
currently three groups in this conflict:  the management team of
Turner, Germon and Gren Alabaster; Cairns and Parore; and the
other players.  The lines between the first two groups are
clearly drawn.  However the opinion of the last group isn't clear
at this stage, partly because of the tight media policy
surrounding the players (allegations of unrest only emerged after
the two players had left the party).  Cairns and Parore are also
"usual suspects" as far as this sort of thing is concerned -
they've both been suspended from games this season for breaches
of discipline,  and they are both used to manipulating the media
to get what they want.  While I admire them as players,  they're
bargaining position is weaker because it is *them* and only
*them*.

  Comparisons are bound to be made with Geoff Howarth last year,
but this time I think the equation is favour of the coach.
Unlike Howarth,  Turner is not going to comments like that lying
down.  He's going to fight back and will probably give as good as
he gets.  Howarth faced a coup orchestrated by a majority of
senior players, many well-entrenched in the New Zealand team.
This season there are less of those players about and their
position is far less secure;  Turner has shown that he will
select players who are prepared to work with him, at the expense
of possinbly more talented, but less cooperative players (the
career of Chris Pringle, New Zealand's most successful wicket
taker in ODI's over the few years appears to be over).

  As for comparisons between Turner and Cairns, I think the
problem is not that they are different, but that they are too
much the same.  They are both extremely independent,
self-sufficient players (eg, they both forged successful careers
away NZ in county cricket),  they both believe they are always
right, and they'll back their beliefs to the hilt.

Final word:  "man-management skills" is the most over used term
in New Zealand coaching.  It's sort of like "family values"in
politics; everyone believes in them, but nobody likes to define
exactly what they are.

Hmm, this post was a little longer than I expected.  Food for
thought, and hopefully some illumination on what NZ cricket goes
through far too regularly.

--


--
Chris Owen

 
 
 

New Zealand player-coach problems continue

Post by Hugh Robert » Mon, 29 Apr 1996 04:00:00

<snip>

Quote:
>  As for comparisons between Turner and Cairns, I think the
>problem is not that they are different, but that they are too
>much the same.  They are both extremely independent,
>self-sufficient players (eg, they both forged successful careers
>away NZ in county cricket),  they both believe they are always
>right, and they'll back their beliefs to the hilt.
>Final word:  "man-management skills" is the most over used term
>in New Zealand coaching.  It's sort of like "family values"in
>politics; everyone believes in them, but nobody likes to define
>exactly what they are.

Great analysis, Chris - I particularly like this point about
"man-management". I'm not sure I agree that these things only happen to
NZ - look at the Windies' problems with sulking superstars (naming no
names). New Zealand's problem is simply that the effects of such
controversies are more dramatic because of our lack of depth.

As for the controversy itself, I'm inclined to think that the New Zealand
management have reacted foolishly in leaping to condemn Cairns and
Parore. Quite frankly, we can't afford to lose these players. It is all
very well to say "either you play by the rules or you're out", but we all
know that the only long-term solution to NZ cricket's problems is for the
team to start winning a few matches. A winning team is, by and large, a
happy team, and a losing team is, by and large, an unhappy team. If NZ
keeps fielding players of the calibre of Kennedy and Patel, it will
continue to be a losing team, and eventually Turner and Germon will be
made the scapegoats for that record.

I think that Doig should see his role not as automatically supporting
Turner, but as mediating between Turner and the disaffected players. Give
both sides a ticking off in private (because they've both, clearly,
behaved foolishly and unprofessionally), but in public say simply that
there was a regrettable breakdown in communication, the whole thing was a
horrible misunderstanding, and in won't happen again. Let both sides save
some face, and we can get on with trying to win some games of cricket.

Just a couple of other thoughts: 1) it is a bit rich hearing Turner
rabbiting on about how one should be willing to put up with anything in
order to play for your country etc. etc. "Playing for his country" was
never Turner's highest priority in his playing days. 2) why is Parore in
such bad odour? He left the team because of an obviously genuine injury,
and his only comment on the Cairns affair was to the effect that "yes,
there is tension in the side. These things are inevitable during a long,
difficult tour. I don't think it is anybody's fault." Has he subsequently
said more than this and I've missed it?

Cheers
Hugh Roberts

 
 
 

New Zealand player-coach problems continue

Post by Peter Willia » Mon, 29 Apr 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
>the two players had left the party).  Cairns and Parore are also
>"usual suspects" as far as this sort of thing is concerned -
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>Chris Owen

Haha. You remember what happened in this film. Everything is not what it
seemed to be. You might as well say "Who is Khyzar Hyatt?" When asking about
the internal politics of the NZ cricket team.

Later

 
 
 

New Zealand player-coach problems continue

Post by Kurt Tools » Tue, 30 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>As for the controversy itself, I'm inclined to think that the New Zealand
>management have reacted foolishly in leaping to condemn Cairns and
>Parore. Quite frankly, we can't afford to lose these players. It is all
>very well to say "either you play by the rules or you're out", but we all
>know that the only long-term solution to NZ cricket's problems is for the
>team to start winning a few matches. A winning team is, by and large, a
>happy team, and a losing team is, by and large, an unhappy team. If NZ
>keeps fielding players of the calibre of Kennedy and Patel, it will
>continue to be a losing team, and eventually Turner and Germon will be
>made the scapegoats for that record.

I quite agree, Hugh. The NZ management is acting as autocratically, as
the WICBC. They both need to realize that their primary focus should
be to field the team with the best chance of winning. Furthermore,
they must learn to treat the players as ***s. Times have changes,
and they need to change with it. Ending someone's career because they
wore a T-shirt on a flight, seems excessive use of force.

Quote:
>I think that Doig should see his role not as automatically supporting
>Turner, but as mediating between Turner and the disaffected players. Give
>both sides a ticking off in private (because they've both, clearly,
>behaved foolishly and unprofessionally), but in public say simply that
>there was a regrettable breakdown in communication, the whole thing was a
>horrible misunderstanding, and in won't happen again. Let both sides save
>some face, and we can get on with trying to win some games of cricket.

Such clear headed logic is indeed what is needed. Sadly, I do not think
that the NZ management (or the WICBC) will display such rational behaviour.

<snip>

Quote:

>Cheers
>Hugh Roberts

Cheers,

Kurt

---
=================================================================
Do not select the "Reply to sender" feature, if you wish to email
me directly. My systems newsreader is incorrectly configured, and
my email address will be truncated. If you wish to e-mail me
directly, use the address given below :


 
 
 

New Zealand player-coach problems continue

Post by Steve Shadbo » Tue, 30 Apr 1996 04:00:00

<snip>

Quote:
>I quite agree, Hugh. The NZ management is acting as autocratically, as
>the WICBC. They both need to realize that their primary focus should
>be to field the team with the best chance of winning. Furthermore,
>they must learn to treat the players as ***s. Times have changes,
>and they need to change with it. Ending someone's career because they
>wore a T-shirt on a flight, seems excessive use of force.

I used to think that it was only the English team that had to suffer
such idiocy.  Its nice to know others do as well :).  It seems as
though the people who run the game are totally out of touch with the
real world.

In Graham Gooch's autobiography there is a story about the England
team being forced to shave off stubble because of complaints about
their appearance on the field.  This had been perfectly acceptable
when they were winning matches.

PS In England it seems that the problem extends to Rugby as well :(

Steve Shadbolt


usual disclaimer about my opiniions and Logica's apply

 
 
 

New Zealand player-coach problems continue

Post by Chris Ow » Thu, 02 May 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>>the two players had left the party).  Cairns and Parore are also
>>"usual suspects" as far as this sort of thing is concerned -
>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>Chris Owen

>Haha. You remember what happened in this film. Everything is not what it
>seemed to be. You might as well say "Who is Khyzar Hyatt?" When asking about

                                             ^^^^^^^^^^^^

Quote:
>the internal politics of the NZ cricket team.

>Later

Khyzar Hyatt!?!  The Pakistani commentator???  Or perhaps you
meant Keyser Soze, the mysterious all-powerful crime boss of the
movie :-).

Gets my nomination for best keyboard slip-up in r.s.c this year.

--


--
Chris Owen