Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vettori cool on support for Moles

Daniel Vettori has given New Zealand's coach Andy Moles little more than qualified support after Thursday's reports that the senior players wanted Moles sacked. Vettori, the captain, was pressed on the issue when accepting his prize at the New Zealand Cricket awards night and was less than enthusiastic in his endorsement of Moles.

"I think we have to be," Vettori said when asked if he would be happy for Moles to continue as coach. "There's no point me making statements to the contrary. I think we have to prepare to take a team away and get the best out of them. Andy and I have a good working relationship but whether that's enough to make the team better is the question that's been asked."

One of the concerns that the senior players were reported to have raised with NZC was that Vettori had effectively been coaching the team for the past six months and that Moles had not provided enough tactical or technical support. When asked if the players were unhappy with Moles' input, Vettori was evasive.

"I don't think I'd put it in those terms ... we're not sitting around trying to plot Andy's demise," Vettori said, as reported by NZPA. "Whenever players are asked honest questions about anything they give their answers.

"I think guys have voiced ways of making the team better. Part of that is my captaincy, part of it is players fronting up and a part of it is Andy improving as well. We just want the best for the team."

Moles and Vettori sat at the same table at the awards dinner in Auckland and Vettori said it had been a difficult day. The players are believed to like Moles as a person but question whether he is the right man to coach the team.

"It's been a tough day for a number of people involved and hopefully everyone can deal with it in the best possible manner," Vettori said. "I think Andy understands this is part of cricketing life. Guys are always looking for ways to improve and you constantly go through a review process."

Moles was expected to enter mediation talks with NZC on Friday so the issue could be dealt with before the team flies out on Monday to begin its one-day series with Pakistan in the UAE. Should Moles quit before then, Vettori did not expect a replacement coach to be in place for the tour.

"Our relationship stands strong in what we need to do," he said. "Andy and I are at the helm and until we know anything different that's the status quo ... It would be incredibly difficult for someone to step in at short notice."

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