Just over a year on from a bitter split with New Zealand Cricket, Glenn Turner is back on the payroll along with fellow batting great Martin Crowe.
The former New Zealand captains have been employed by NZC as "high-performance talent scouts", or selection spotters, to watch domestic cricket this season and identify potential Black Caps.
Neither will have a role on the selection panel, but will recommend names to national selection manager Kim Littlejohn and national coach Mike Hesson, the latter having power of veto. The six major association head coaches will continue as spotters.
Turner was a national selector for six years until John Buchanan, NZC's director of cricket, disbanded the independent panel of Turner, Mark Greatbatch and Lance Cairns and installed Australian Littlejohn as national selection manager.
Turner interviewed for that role, and after missing out in September 2011 said he and NZC were "better off without each other".
He said yesterday, while watching Otago play Canterbury, that he had more to give after 40 years with NZC as player, coach and selector.
"I've only been a year out of it and the six years prior to that meant that I got around the provincial scene and I've had an opportunity to see more domestic cricket than anybody else," Turner said.
"It's an opportunity to keep up with that knowledge and increase it again and get right up to date. Obviously cricket is still important to me and there's always the saying that you're better inside the tent than outside it."
Turner will scout matches in the lower South Island and Crowe in the upper North Island, with Littlejohn keeping watch in Christchurch.
Crowe has kept a low public profile since confirming his cancer diagnosis in October. He described the lymphoma as "very treatable" and "not aggressive".
Although the pair, two of the best cricketing brains in the country, won't shake up the system, their employment is good public relations for NZC following Shane Bond's capture as bowling coach.
NZC chief executive David White was aware of the public perception of an Australian takeover, and is understood to have taken a keen interest in Buchanan's powerful role. The latter was appointed by former NZC boss Justin Vaughan.
White referred requests for comment to Buchanan, who said Turner and Crowe had credibility and were "exceptionally keen" to be involved.
"We're trying to increase the breadth of coverage. It's to do with budgeting, in that we were able to increase our budget in that area, and also for Kim to get a good handle on NZC and the sort of people that would be appropriate to fill those scouting roles."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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