NZ Cricket eyeing role for returning Edgar

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 25/07/2013
Bruce Edgar
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COMING HOME: Bruce Edgar is being talked about for a role with NZ Cricket after he returns to Auckland in September.

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Bruce Edgar is coming home from across the ditch and New Zealand Cricket is keen to talk.

The question now is, which vacancy suits the former test opener best: high performance, selector or board member?

Edgar confirmed his family will shift back from Sydney and settle in Auckland, where he plans to continue as a financial services consultant. The house is on the market and they move in September, about the time NZC's new general manager of selection will be revealed, but Edgar insists the shift wasn't a result of the cleanout of Australians John Buchanan and Kim Littlejohn.

"There's obviously board [positions], and high performance and selection, a whole range of options. We are moving back but that was decided a few months ago, well before this was happening," Edgar said.

"At the moment I'm moving with the role I'm currently doing. That's the plan, and outside that I'm not sure at this stage. I'm looking at [cricket] and putting it out there but I just need to work out whether I can fit all this sort of thing in."

Edgar was interested in the chief executive role in late 2011 before David White was confirmed in the job. His skill set appears ideal for a high-profile role at NZC; a respected former international (39 tests and 64 ODIs between 1978-86) with financial nous and recent experience in high performance batting coaching with Cricket New South Wales and Sydney club Gordon. If nothing else, Edgar would be welcomed onto the NZC board which is crying out for more high-level cricket experience.

"I talk to the [New Zealand] guys and I'm still in the Cricket Players' Association hardship trust, trying to help them and build the fund up, so that's where my interest is at the moment. If anything comes about on the other side I'd just have to wait and see."

The general manager of selection role is already advertised and will be appointed by a panel led by Sir Richard Hadlee. Coach Mike Hesson retains power of veto in all selections.

Buchanan's role as director of cricket will be tweaked in the coming weeks then a high performance role will be advertised. This seems the best fit for Edgar, particularly with the ongoing concerns around the depth and performance of New Zealand's test batting.

Edgar heads Gordon's junior academy and coaches some of the premier batsmen. He's also spent four years coaching Cricket NSW's level two coaches on batting. He has strong ideas on what could assist NZC's player development.

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"One of the challenges for guys stepping up to international level is it becomes a mental game. I do a lot of work on the mental side of the game.

"You can have 10 people who are equally skilful but if they don't have the mental strength to actually apply it on a consistent basis or when they're put under pressure. I've just seen that with the Australian team who cracked under pressure."

Edgar is also an advocate of defined high performance pathways for young players who are battle hardened when shifted up a level into a test or an ODI.

"They might be good at their level, but what level are they competing against?"

White and Edgar spoke during the Auckland test against England in March. They will likely speak again soon, and White is enthusiastic about Edgar getting involved in NZC.

"People like Bruce Edgar are highly respected with huge knowledge and great experience. Those type of people would be absolutely welcome to apply," White said.

"We really want to get people involved back in New Zealand. Former players and people with that intellectual property would be fantastic."

- The Dominion Post

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