So farewell then Justin Vaughan.
We will miss your unique style of measured, considered and consultative brand of indecision you brought to the job of being Head Bureaucrat at NZ Cricket.
We liked the way you told Shane Bond he could play for New Zealand and the ICL at the same time when the BCCI had made it abundantly clear you couldn’t, and all other nations were falling into line. Bond seemed like such a nice guy; you didn’t want to upset him.
You knew team morale and general conviviality was important in a team environment. That’s why you hired Dave Currie, famous for leading hakas to celebrate fourth placed swimmers, for the Manager’s job in the team. What’s a bit of walking behind the sightscreen amongst friends?
You were so open with the media. It was reassuring to know that every story would get leaked early and pop on the Stuff website ahead of time. No matter that in the case of a player retiring at the end of a three test series, it should be broken in the middle of the second test that New Zealand then went on to lose. At least we knew nice and early.
Your ability to think outside the square was appreciated. Having the captain also acting as coach and chief selector was a novel approach; and the way you made Greatbatch coach while making us know he wasn’t really the coach was what you would call Blue Sky Thinking.
And didn’t you think out of the square when it came to scheduling? Take this summer for example. 80 consecutive days without first-class cricket; the cornerstone of the game.
Being a gentleman was important to you. Hiring Allan Donald for this year’s World Cup was a masterstroke. But you knew that it was important not to put too much pressure on the man. So the Verbal Agreement that was made which must’ve really helped him as a bargaining tool when negotiating the South African bowling coach job.
Helping coaches with their careers was a bit of a theme really. The IPL was based on coaches who raised their profiles while being publicly considered as a replacement for John Bracewell. New Zealand ended up with Fifth Choice Andy Moles, but at least everyone got a chance and the process was played out in public.
In fact, process and committees were generally important to you too. A committee to decide on a new captain once Vettori stood down from the role (having given a year’s notice). 94 days worth of Due Process. Some may say that caused division within the squad but it did have its good moments too; Brendon McCullum sure developed his PowerPoint skills.
And then, as a parting gesture, you gave us an Australian with a background in baseball and lawn bowls to be the National Selection Manager within a structure than no-one really understands. Now, that will be something to remember you by.