Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Snedden and Canning go

I wondered about retirements yesterday and today two important cogs in New Zealand cricket announced that they were moving on. Martin Snedden and Tama Canning have both announced that they are retiring. Snedden will be the bigger of the two losses. He has been at the head of New Zealand Cricket since 2001 and has provided steady, professional leadership. In a way he marked the transition from the amateur to the professional era in New Zealand cricket. He was the sharp lawyer who over from an opera singer, and he was also the CEO who oversaw the player contracts dispute and the introduction of professional first-class cricket.

Canning has been one of those bits-and-pieces cricketers that New Zealand seems to produce in spades - only he is actually an Australian. Canning came to New Zealand with the hope of making it to the top in international cricket. Not good enough to establish himself as either a batsman or a bowler, he still managed to make himself invaluable to Auckland by means of gritty, determined knocks in demanding situations and by taking vital wickets at vital moments. Canning played four ODIs for New Zealand a couple of seasons ago but found himself competing against a number of players trying to fill the same vacancy. Against the likes of Jacob Oram, James Franklin, Kyle Mills, Andre Adams, Scott Styris and Dan Vettori he was always going to struggle to establish himself. At the age of only 28 he seems to have lost his passion. I wouldn't be surprised if the struggles of his Auckland team in the first-class competition have contributed to this.


Anonymous said...

Snedden really took NZ Cricket to a new level. I hope that whoever replaces Snedden will be able to find more time for Test Cricket so as to bring NZ Cricket to another level higher. Growth in Tests, though difficult, is not impossible and probably the only thing missing from the NZ Cricket picture.

The Australian model of playing Tests every summer in the same cities at the same time of year needs to be established (or re-established) in NZ.

Play more Tests in school holidays or around public holidays. Because Tests are played during the day and across five days, invariably you till play most of it during weekdays. If those weekdays are during the school term, you will get poor crowds like in the first Test this season. One dayers can be played during the school term because they can fit in "free time," after school and weekends.


Karl said...

Through the summer there are also a large number of regional public holidays in New Zealand. I've thought that the co-ordination of games with these holidays could be a lot better, e.g. Wellington Anniversary on the third monday of January should coincide with a odi or test.

I think that abandoning the Boxing Day test in Wellington in favour of a ODI in Auckland has not been successful. Wellingtonians support test cricket - Aucklanders don't support ODIs to the same extent (but that's probably my parochialism creeping in).

parker said...

I didn't think that Martin Snedden would take my earlier comment about him having to go to heart. Let's hope the next head of NZ cricket does a better job of promoting test cricket. As I understood it, it was Snedden's decision to drop a third test against Sri Lanka for a 20-20 game, just to get in a bit more practice for the World Cup What an exciting test that would have been. Now we are left to ponder so many unanswered questions (for another year).
Agree with all comments above about rescheduling tests.
Aucklander's used to support one dayers - there were big crowds back in the 1980s, particularly when Australia was playing.

Jeff said...

The way I see it, the increase in a Test crowd played during holidays compared to one played in school would be much greater than the increase from playing a one dayer on Boxing Day compared to playing one on a weekend in February. Maximise your chances.

The suggestion of playing games during provincal holidays is a great one too. Would work for domestic cricket as well.

Snedden's will leave a two pronged legacy. He professionalised NZ Cricket and ignored Tests. With the calibre of players NZ has had over recent years, it is a real shame. They could have done a lot more given the chance.