Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Cricket: Ex-players key for change

John Parker. Photo / Derek Flynn
John Parker. Photo / Derek Flynn

Former New Zealand test captain John Parker's movement to get more ex-international involvement on the New Zealand Cricket board takes its next step tomorrow.

NZC chairman Chris Moller is meeting the chairmen of the six major associations (MAs) to look at how the constitution to elect the board can be adapted to better encompass the expertise of former players.

Parker's movement is frustrated by a lack of former internationals on the board since Stephen Boock became president and Rob Hart resigned. NZC chief executive David White attends meetings and has test and ODI experience, but is not an official board member. Parker's movement is working through the MAs to drive change on the board.

"We want to see people with specific skills there, rather than generalists. There's no doubt the incumbents are enthusiastic cricket people but we want at least two members to be ex-internationals with a leadership and governance background. They will understand the inner workings of New Zealand teams and how to best plan itineraries. We're keen to have those skills identified in the constitution.

Candidates will apply for a place and go through a process which will eventually be voted on by MAs and District Associations.

"Complicating matters is that everything in the garden looks rosy with a strong performance against England. However, what happened with Ross Taylor's captaincy and the subsequent fallout cannot be allowed to occur again.

"Our proposal has been met with enthusiasm by the MAs in the desire to get things right. They have been great offering to table our thoughts."

Parker, 62, played 36 tests for New Zealand and captained the side in one test against Pakistan in 1976. He was a Radio New Zealand commentator for nine years, head of Sport Waikato for 12 years and has run his own sports consultancy company, the SMT Group, since 1997.

He has declined to mention names associated with his movement as he wants to focus on what's best for New Zealand cricket. The Herald on Sunday understands it is a veritable who's who of those involved across the New Zealand game. They include ex-captains, coaches, players, selectors and even media who share correspondence. A dossier has been compiled covering NZC actions and blunders of recent years. The Taylor captaincy saga and NZC's subsequent reaction were the catalysts for change.

"I'm the messenger and we all know what happens to them," Parker says drily. "But that's fine as long as we get a better result. By the end of the summer we want a constitution agreed to by the MAs and then a couple of months later there will be a meeting to elect a new board."

Moller welcomes the dialogue.

"We've convened the meeting as another step on the road to progress. We've been working at this for well over a year now and the number of unresolved issues [with our proposed constitution] is diminishing. This will be another significant step along the way and, as I understand it, John [Parker] has spoken to the two [NZC] board members on our [constitution] drafting committee, [lawyers] Greg Barclay and Don Mackinnon."

The changes are likely to see the board made up of six elected and two appointed members rather than the current eight elected positions.

- Herald on Sunday

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