NZ Cricket given $2.14m handout

By Kris Shannon

New Zealand Cricket have been given a US$1.8 million (NZ$2.14m) handout over three years by the International Cricket Council. Photo /  Dean Purcell
New Zealand Cricket have been given a US$1.8 million (NZ$2.14m) handout over three years by the International Cricket Council. Photo / Dean Purcell

Today's handout from the International Cricket Council will not immediately aid the Black Caps but director of cricket John Buchanan thinks the national side will eventually reap the benefits.

New Zealand Cricket has been given $2.14 million over three years from the ICC's targeted assistance and performance programme (TAPP) as a way to help this country become more competitive on the international scene.

The scheme is aimed at levelling the international playing field and has previously provided assistance to the likes of Ireland and Scotland, with NZC's successful application something of an indictment on how far the Black Caps have fallen.

New Zealand are currently No 8 in both the test and one-day international rankings but Buchanan said the financial windfall will not be injected into the under-performing side. Instead, the money will be used to improve the A programme and the development of coaches, areas aimed at enhancing the national side in the long term.

"The answer is no, initially," Buchanan said when asked whether the money would be used to boost the Black Caps. "But hopefully it will eventually increase the level of competition within the Black Caps and they'll see the benefits over time."

That end goal was the basis of NZC's application to the ICC, and the funding is designed to dovetail with the organisation's high performance plan. With the current crop of Black Caps struggling for consistency, NZC hopes the windfall will help improve those with international cricket in their future.

"It's designed around our pathway and development," Buchanan said. "Not only players in principally our A programme, but also the development of coaches and sports scientists and support staff.

"It's really targeting a much broader means of developing cricket in New Zealand over the next few years."

NZC is unlikely to employ more full-time coaches into their high performance set-up, but the handout will be used to hire specialists on a short-term basis when needed.

"We can place coaches on certain programmes and certain touring situations and/or in specific coaching development roles, possibly overseas," Buchanan said. "So that gives us the scope to really begin to target a broader cross-section of coaches, other than those who are currently employed."

With nations able to formally apply for funding, Ireland and Scotland were the first to receive TAPP assistance in June last year while the West Indies and Zimbabwe the first full members to receive funding.

New Zealand would be loathe to include themselves among that calibre of team, but Buchanan said recent performances on the pitch have left the side in need of similar assistance provided to the developing nations.

"I don't think there's any hiding the fact that New Zealand cricket, internationally, hasn't performed that well in recent times," he said. "Part of the ICC's charter is to ensure that both associate countries and full member countries remain extremely competitive, just for the whole development of the game.

"That's certainly one of the reasons [funding was received]. I think the other reason was what we put forward in our proposal."

- APNZ

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