New Zealand coach quits amid player criticism

New Zealand coach Andy Moles quit, New Zealand Cricket officials confirmed, ending a stand-off in which senior players had appealed for him to be sacked.

updated: October 24, 2009 16:05 IST
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New Zealand coach Andy Moles quit on Saturday, New Zealand Cricket officials confirmed, ending a stand-off in which senior players had appealed for him to be sacked.

Moles was standing down "in the best interests" of the organisation following a review of the recent tour of Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy tournament in South Africa, a New Zealand Cricket release said.

Chief executive Justin Vaughan said no immediate replacement would be named for the upcoming series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, leaving captain Daniel Vettori in charge of a coachless side.

English-born Moles, a surprise choice to replace John Bracewell as the coach of the New Zealand team last November, was contracted through to the 2011 World Cup but lasted less than a year in the job.

His departure was seen as inevitable when he went into mediation talks on Friday after it became public that senior players had raised concerns about his abilities.

Moles, 48, said he held no grudge against the players but was aggrieved at the sudden revelation of their concerns.

"It is unfortunate that it (coaching deficiencies) wasn't raised before and that will be looked at, I'm sure, by New Zealand Cricket going forward," the former Warwickshire batsman said.

"If I had got some feedback earlier, we may have been able to quell this problem and been aware of it."

Under Moles' tenure, New Zealand's record has been patchy. Four Tests have been drawn and three lost, and in one-day internationals New Zealand have won nine and lost 10.

However, his departure ironically comes immediately after their best performance in the past year, reaching the final of the Champions Trophy.

Moles said he did not believe player power was escalating out of control but he stressed the importance of choosing a strong-willed individual as his successor.

"They need a coach who's going to be really forceful and a guy who perhaps will be allowed to come in and run the show by himself," he said.

"Obviously my brand of coaching wasn't the type of coaching that these players desired and I understand that."

Leaked media reports early this week said senior players claimed Moles had not provided them with adequate tactical or technical support, and wanted him sacked.

But captain Vettori was non-specific when asked about player dissatisfaction.

"I don't think I'd put it in those terms .... we're not sitting around trying to plot Andy's demise," he said.

"Whenever players are asked honest questions about anything they give their answers. I think guys have voiced ways of making the team better."