OPINION: If neglect resulting in irreversible damage to New Zealand cricket is a crime then John Buchanan and David White should be charged and found guilty.
To send the national team full of youngsters and injury-prone veterans to the West Indies without any solid preparation, is akin to sending this Black Caps group into a gunfight with a knife. The results demonstrate that this has been the case.
International sport nowadays has travelled along the professional path for some time and the expectations for this group must surely have been a minimum of:
Analysis of the West Indies in their series against England that has not long finished.
Identifying cues in the bowling of unorthodox spinner Sunil Narine and setting up bowling machines that could provide some practice against this player.
Batting in the nets to iron out problems and to get the feel of bat on ball.
A couple of warmup fixtures in Australia.
The fact that apparently funds were not made available for any pre-tour preparation is an insane and unpatriotic action.
This is the decision of a cricket administration of 50 years ago.
The appointment of Buchanan was always fraught with danger. Described by Shane Warne as the "Mad Professor", his theoretical approach was never going to sit comfortably at the head of the table in a country that demands simplicity, clarity and hard work.
To set him up as the key man in high performance, and then to allow him to choose another Australian as a selector was the first sign of a national organisation selling their assets.
It is reported that both these employees of NZC travel home to Australia at the weekends as well, which suggests they are not 100 per cent into the job.
There is no way they are ever going to be "honorary New Zealanders" in the way that Steve Rixon won over the cricketers and the public with his tough attitude and never-say-die approach more than a decade back.
The fact that Buchanan is indirectly responsible for John Wright resigning as coach after this tour is another reason he should be dismissed.
Watching Wright close his final chapter in New Zealand cricket is a sad sight as he tries to pull together a group of confused and under-prepared players.
Wright is the true New Zealand man. A tough, uncompromising player, he has become a world-class coach as demonstrated with India and had been coaxed in to being the Black Caps' top man. Why this has now been pulled from under him will remain a mystery. His traits, and not those of Buchanan, would appear to be more suited to this group.
Of course the new CEO David White hasn't long been in the job but if he is to govern a body that does not provide the necessary backup to have a successful Black Caps squad he needs to be replaced very quickly.
One wonders whether White has been distracted in his shifting of the financial arm of NZC to his adopted home of Auckland, and his success in sneaking under the radar the return of cricket to the expanses of Eden Park where the touring English team will play three matches in perhaps the worst cricket venue in New Zealand. Whatever he has been doing, he should have never allowed the current Black Caps situation to occur.
Spare a thought for the cricketers at this time. They have not been treated as professional sportspeople should expect and consequently they are struggling to find form.
Only a face-saving test series where the selectors are kind enough to let Brendon McCullum play, will put a stop to further embarrassment.
Then it will be time to appoint a new coach. I wonder if they are considering Sir Graham Henry? He did play first class cricket and he is a New Zealander.
Ian Snook is a former Taranaki and Central Districts captain. He is one of only four men to have played more than 100 games for Taranaki.
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