Edgar a coaching blast from past

BY MICHAEL DONALDSON
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2009
edgar
From Sydney, with credentials Bruce Edgar.

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OPINION: Former New Zealand opening batsman John Wright is the name on everyone's lips when it comes to the next New Zealand cricket coach but I can say, with hand on heart, there might be more substance to the suggestion we should be looking at the man who stood at the other end to Wright in that famous international opening partnership.

Bruce Edgar.

Edgar's name first came up as a whisper and then a quiet word. But the more I mentioned it to people, the more traction it got.

Edgar, 53, now lives in Sydney, where he moved in 2004 after forging a successful career in accounting that took him to a job as a business development manager for BNZ.

But the man known as Bootsy has been putting a lot of energy into a fledgling cricket coaching career, reportedly doing some coaching for Cricket NSW.

He could not be reached yesterday to confirm whether the vacant New Zealand coaching job was even on his radar.

But whether Edgar is a serious contender is not as important as the fact he is the type of coach New Zealand Cricket might be looking for: an organiser rather than a technician.

The players, as the Sunday Star-Times reported last week are starting to take control of their own coaching. That means the coach becomes more of an executive manager who oversees the whole operation.

If NZ Cricket goes down that path, Edgar, or a man of his ilk, might fit the role better than Wright, who is known to be averse to new technology and is regarded by some as disorganised.

One well-placed source told me that Edgar was "a very smart operator, very organised, and he knows his cricket inside out ...

"If it's an organiser, a facilitator, that NZ Cricket want then Bootsy is up their alley."

Wellington captain Matthew Bell, a former New Zealand opener, had Edgar as his personal coach and is a big fan. Asked if he could envisage Edgar coaching New Zealand, Bell said: "Yeah, he's got the right demeanour, the way he approaches the game, the way he thinks about the game.

"He'd bring a different perspective to that role. He's a smart cookie and he analyses things very well; he'd offer a different range of skills than a normal sort of coach would.

"If you look at some of the recent Australian coaches, they've been more about player management and keeping the ship intact and running smoothly, rather than having technical skills."

Edgar, a lefthander, played 39 tests, scoring 1958 runs at an average of 30.59. He is perhaps best remembered as being not out on 102 at the non-striker's end when Brian McKechnie received the underarm delivery from Trevor Chappell at the MCG. He retired from tests in 1986.

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- Sunday Star Times

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