Dunking Fletcher: 10 things you should know

Last updated 10:31 30/11/2010

The sieve that is New Zealand Cricket sprung another leak on Sunday morning as Aaron Lawton unveiled the news that hard-ass Duncan Fletcher was set to start cracking some heads in the high performance unit in Christchurch.

The appointment was confirmed on Monday after some needless ducking and weaving at the weekend ("...a spokesperson confirmed a release on the use of a specialist consultant would be made public in the coming days").

Anyway, here are the 10 things you need to know about Big Dunc that didn't make the cut in the media release...

1. The NZ cricketers are in for some interesting times.

Some of the adjectives bandied about in relation to the man include ruthless, sanguine, cranky, self-righteous, confident, terse, sullen and obdurate.

He has also had run-ins with a platoon of players, fish-heads and commentators including Boycott, Botham, Rod Marsh, Gavaskar and even poor old Henry Blofeld.

On the bright side, he is on record as being strongly supportive of managing workloads rather than flogging players to death (well, flogging them into sub-par performances anyway) on the domestic circuit.

2. Australians hated him in 2005.

He was embroiled in one of cricket's great controversies when he was England coach and smiled from the balcony as Ricky Ponting was run out by substitute fielder Gary Pratt at Nottingham in 2005.

Check out this 'The Punter Pratted' video for a neat summary in which the Tasmanian devil takes his toys out of the sandpit and up the pavilion steps before apparently calling Fletcher "a f****ing cheat". As Fletcher said soon after: "If you take a risky single and get run out, you would be frustrated."

3. Australians hate him in 2010 as well.

He recently penned an opinion piece in The Guardian which has rarked the Strayans up no end: "Every signal the Australians are sending out speaks of the confusion in their camp and the breakdown in their planning for this series. It all makes you wonder exactly where Australian cricket is at the moment. You have to go back more than 30 years...to find the last time the team were in such a muddled state."


4. He turned down Mark Greatbatch's current job.

5. The Black Caps job might sound tough but is nothing compared to some of the things he has done before. As well as being in the army, he also devised Zimbabwe's car registration system.

6. He has claimed that the  umpire decision referral system being used willy-nilly around the cricketing globe emerged from his Rhodesian-born brain. At best that claim is arguable - and bizarrely a Sri Lankan lawyer is set to take the ICC to court in order to have himself recognised as the "UDRS inventor."

7. He was famously awarded British citizenship in the wake of coaching the Poms to their 2005 Ashes triumph.

Despite falling foul of the qualification rules, the immigration minister intervened after a hue and cry after the Brazilian boyfriend of a Labour politician was gained British citizenship with comparative ease. Backbencher Gerald Howarth said at the time: "I wonder who the public would feel has done more for this country - the man behind a glorious summer of cricket, or Mr Mandelson's escort?"


8. He was Zimbabwe's inaugural one-day captain.

He did a great job too - scoring 69 from 84 balls and taking 4/42 from 11 overs to beat Australia in an extraordinary performance and catalyse a monstrous upset at the 1983 World Cup. It was Zimbabwe's first official ODI.

Read John Ward's fantastic piece on the game over on Cricinfo, sample quote: "There was a crowd of perhaps between five and ten thousand, containing quite a number of Zimbabweans...There were only about twenty or thirty of them, but they were waving the Zimbabwean flag and giving constant vocal encouragement to their team. One of them apparently made a small fortune by gambling 100 pounds on a Zimbabwean victory at odds of about 200-1, and he treated the team royally in the bar afterwards."


9. He coined an unrepeatable Joel Monaghan-esque phrase to describe a player's level of courage, commitment, spirit and desire.

10. His nickname, presumably unwanted, is Duncan Donuts.

Post a comment
Jez   #1   12:22 pm Nov 30 2010

Duncan Donuts indeed.

What the NZ team needs, from my perspective, is clarification of players roles in the team.

The B-team we put on the park the other night didn't seem clear about it's players roles and it cost us 40 runs in the park and what would have been a much heavier defeat if Mills and McCullum hadn't had a decent hit.

Maybe that's something Duncan can help with? I hope so.

I don't mind Tuffey coming up the order, but if they're going to do that, I hope it's a decision for the duration of the series. Otherwise it's unfair on everyone.

I was surprised Franklin wasn't in the team. I would bring him in for Elliott.

Then again, I assume Vettori and McCullum will be back for the next match, the XI could be a bit of a lottery. That's likely the last thing the kiwi team needs right now.

Karlos   #2   01:09 pm Nov 30 2010

Haha 'The Punter Pratted' was a good watch!

Bodyline   #3   02:02 pm Nov 30 2010

Once again the management structure is all over the place. First we have a captain taking on everything, a batting coach who thinks hes the coach, then a high performance guy comes in who knows nothing about cricket, neither does our manager know anything about the sport, and now we have a guy (who turned down the coaching role) coming in a for a nicely paid bit of work with just 2 months to go? Trying to ''do a Wayne Bennett with the Kiwis''. Difference being the Kiwis have talent. Vaughan once again showing he has no idea.

Biggs   #4   10:33 pm Nov 30 2010

Evidently, with Tuffey heading home due to injury, we've lost our number 7 and all-rounder (guffaws) ...guess they'll be giving that spot to Timmy S or calling in Chris Martin to bat 7 next. Along as Hopkins never bats higher than 8 right? Injuries to Vettori and McCullum for the next game, apparently due to their "heavy workload during the tests" according to Mark Greatbatch. Yeah, McCullum sure had a heavy workload. Didn't keep, scored consistantly... guess no other player in world cricket has done that before and backed it up in an ODI series? Vettori gets put in cotton wool again... they don't have Oram around to 'manage' these days so they've gotta cuddle someone. Stay Classy, Blackcaps.

Dillshan   #5   01:50 pm Dec 01 2010

MARK GREATBATCH can't do his current job properly as coach so he needs some else to step in? why do we need another coach potato to fly in and help us when we already have a coach???, this is ridculous, may aswell have every member of the whole ICC fly in, nothign will help the black caps cause, the no-name indian ODI squad must be having a laugh at the way we handle our cricket...

Ratbag   #6   04:31 pm Dec 01 2010

NZ Cricket's hired a hard fixit man to shore up a flaccid side before. His name was Glenn Turner.

But I'll be happy with any coach who can bring about genuine improvement, whether or not he barks like a drill sergeant and shaves his mo with tweezers.

Sulzberg   #7   05:28 pm Dec 01 2010

Tuffey heading home is no loss to the team at all!!..playing him as an allrounder you have to be kidding right? Styis/DV are both allrounders in the team surly??

Whos picking the team coach or the captain seems like there are a few issues there! Why do we have so many injuries to players its not like we play as often as Aust/Eng/Ind, these players are soft. The whole lot of them need a reaility check, a few good momnets in the test series , then they play like headless chooks.

Our player reserve are so slim why do we have ODI & Test specialist?, the guys who have just come in cold will need two games just to get up to speed. With the exception of Martin/McIntosh why not keep the same team.

Biggs   #8   06:28 pm Dec 01 2010

In regards to the management set-up within the BlackCaps... I sure don't know the ins and outs of it, but a number of comentators for SOME TIME have made mention of what a large "support network" the team takes with them. In an age of downsizing and simplification, in an age where the more commonsense approach is always favored over more complicated methods... It does suprise me that the BlackCaps are adding yet ANOTHER person to their rogues gallery of support crew. We also seem to be the only international team that just isn't FIT enough for international cricket. We have the same players going down all the time due to injuries. There HAS to be some question marks on the medical support staff, it's not a new problem... this is been going on since Bracewell's 'team' left the building and has got worse and worse with our walking-wounded players. Fitness has always been a hallmark of our past Blackcaps teams, especially with their on-ground fielding. When was the last time we went injury-free for a series?

Biggs   #9   06:39 pm Dec 01 2010

Actually, you know what... here's a solution to the Gareth Hopkins problem. Because it's a HUGE problem, because he's rubbish. Evidently they won't try a younger keeper (for whatever reason) so if you have to have him in the team, keep him at 8 or 9 or wherever you want to bury him, but move Nathan McCullum up the order as your specialist all-rounder. The guy seems to have some stones and backbone on him, can bat pretty well and hit the white leather with confidence... so why not give him a nudge at 7? Kane Williamson is obviously looked at as a Batsman first in the team set-up, which is fine... he's not your go-to all-round option but I think Nathan McCullum is the solution, at least... until they drop Hopkins for good and replace him with a guy who can A) Keep and B) Keep and also C) Bat. A Prerequisite for a Wicket-Keeper Batsman, you would think... however, in todays modern game, with all the experiences cricketing "minds" supporting the BlackCaps, I could be wrong...

Andrew   #10   11:46 pm Dec 01 2010

Regular like clockwork, Ross Taylor out to the legside Slog-Sweep... I just won myself $50 off my mate. Love that consistency boys!

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