Cricket: Captains' lunch taps into test wisdom

By David Leggat

David White. Photo / Getty Images
David White. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand Cricket would be "crazy" not to tap into the wisdom of its former test captains, according to chief executive David White.

The first conclave of those who have led the country took place at Eden Park yesterday.

And although there was a broad-brush element to the meeting, White said there was plenty to show the exercise was well worthwhile - to the degree that it's been decided to make it an annual event.

"It was a very positive meeting, with frank and honest debate, and good thoughts moving forward," White said last night.

Those at the meeting included John R. Reid, Graham Dowling, Bevan Congdon, Glenn Turner, Jeremy Coney, Stephen Fleming, Lee Germon, Dan Vettori, Ian Smith, Dion Nash and Barry Sinclair, with former national women's skippers Haidee Tiffen, Catherine Campbell and Debbie Hockley.

The idea was to pick the collective brains of people who have been in charge on the park.

"There's so much to know, the history and intellectual property in that room, it's crazy not to tap into that," White said. It may also be seen as an attempt at greater inclusivity among a group which includes people who feel on the outer looking in on the game they graced down the years.

Given the issues it has had to deal with in recent times, NZC may well feel the more input the better.

Among issues covered were governance and the constitution, communication with stakeholders, the 2015 World Cup, to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the dumping of Ross Taylor for Brendon McCullum as national skipper in November and the failure to adequately celebrate the history and milestones of the game in this country.

On the latter, there is to be a lunch for former players at Eden Park tomorrow , and that too is intended to be staged each year around a test.

It may sound small, but it is a start, considering that for years businessman and cricket nut Sir Ron Brierley has privately hosted a former New Zealand touring team at the Basin Reserve test each season, a sore point for players who have looked askance at NZC's efforts on that front.

One other topic, which has a particular resonance this week, is the type of ground which should be used for test cricket. Eden Park is back on the table after a seven-year absence as a test venue, starting today in the third test against England.

Whether it becomes a permanent fixture on the calendar or if this is a one-off remains to be seen, but by no stretch could it be considered a decision fully embraced by the cricket community, even in Auckland.

It was "three hours that went very quickly", White added.

There has been interest among former internationals to stand for places on the NZC board this year. Among the criticisms of the current board is the lack of any practical on-field experience.

The present board will resign in September when a new group will come out of a special general meeting to be held in early July.

A new draft of the constitution will be available after Easter; meetings with districts and major associations are planned for early May, with feedback by the end of that month.

The new constitution will be issued by early June, with the new board appointed by early September.

- NZ Herald

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