John Buchanan, the former coach of Australia, has been confirmed as New Zealand's director of cricket. Buchanan will take on the role with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in May, and will be in charge of the high-performance programme, while also overseeing the selection panel and implementing a talent identification system.
The wide-ranging brief is Buchanan's first major job in international cricket since he resigned as Australia's coach following the 2007 World Cup triumph. Since then, he has consulted with the ECB and had an ill-fated stint as the coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, a role from which he was sacked in 2009.
However, it is for his eight years as Australia's mentor that Buchanan earned his reputation. He was in charge during the golden era that brought Australia three World Cup titles and a record 16 consecutive Test victories, and before he took control of the national side he had coached Queensland to their long-awaited first Sheffield Shield title.
"John's appointment is an exciting one for New Zealand Cricket," NZC's chief executive Justin Vaughan said. "He has a great cricketing pedigree and will provide outstanding leadership as NZC look to move forward."
Buchanan is the first person to take on the director of cricket role with NZC after the position was created with the aim of introducing consistent coaching strategies and overseeing the entire high-performance programme. He said he was looking forward to the challenge.
"It's an honour to be appointed to this challenging role. It is a wonderful opportunity to build on the work that has been done," Buchanan said. "New Zealand Cricket has a proud history and is a true honour to be given the responsibility. I want to be part of the next successful era and am committed to building sustainable high performance for New Zealand Cricket."
Buchanan's first tasks are likely to include providing input in the choice of New Zealand's new captain and the composition of the selection panel. The existing selectors, Mark Greatbatch, Lance Cairns and Glenn Turner, come out of contract at the end of April.