New NZ coach Moles to make early start

Newly-appointed New Zealand cricket coach Andy Moles will take charge of the team immediately following its tour of Australia.

updated: November 25, 2008 18:48 IST
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Newly-appointed New Zealand cricket coach Andy Moles will take charge of the team immediately following its tour of Australia, which ends after the second Test starting on Friday in Adelaide.

English-born Moles, 47, will lead New Zealand for the first time in its two-Test home series against the West Indies beginning in December. Incumbent coach John Bracewell is contracted until April, but will relinquish his position to Moles whose surprise appointment was announced by New Zealand Cricket earlier on Tuesday.

"Today is a really exciting day for New Zealand cricket as we look to the future and in terms of our (national team's) performance," chief executive Justin Vaughan said.

"As an organization we have the stated aspiration of our team being in the top two teams in the world, winning world events and part of that process has been around the appointment of the new coach."

Vaughan said the process leading to the appointment of Moles - a former Warwickshire county batsman who has previously coached Hong Kong, Kenya and Scotland - had been "thorough, very long and, I guess, slightly public."

"We've searched high and wide nationally and internationally and so today it's my pleasure to confirm Andy Moles will be the new Black Caps coach."

The announcement of Moles' appointment was made on Tuesday, less than a day after Australian Matthew Mott - the leading candidate for the job - pulled out of the race to continue coaching New South Wales.

Moles in currently in charge of the New Zealand province Northern Districts, which he coached to the national first class title in his first season two years ago. Northern is also the home province of New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.

"Andy has got a tremendous record coaching within New Zealand and around the world as well as a very successful playing career with Warwickshire," Vaughan said. "Importantly, he's got all the attributes we were looking for in terms of a new coach ... those being leadership, passion, commitment and also a very selfless drive to help the team move forward and get the very best out of them."

New Zealand is currently ranked seventh on the list of Test playing nations and could slip to eighth, ahead of only Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, if it loses the second Test against Australia.

Moles, whose playing career was cut short by injury in 1998, said he was overwhelmed to be given the opportunity to coach New Zealand.

"In any working environment you always want to work at the top of your profession and for a coach to work at international level is something you always strive for," he said.

"I've been in New Zealand for a couple of years now so I've got to know a lot of the players, the young players and a number of the players who are currently in the (New Zealand) side. ... There's no doubt in my mind that we can become a winning team."