New Zealand not pursuing Mickey Arthur

Reports linking former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur with New Zealand’s vacant national coaching position were baseless, a spokesperson for New Zealand Cricket said on Wednesday.

Arthur (41) resigned on Tuesday after four-and-a-half years as South African coach, reportedly in the wake of the breakdown of his working relationship with Proteas’ captain Graeme Smith.

New Zealand has been without a national coach since October 24 when Englishman Andy Moles resigned, also amid reports of tensions with senior players. Captain Daniel Vettori has been acting in an informal coaching role since Moles’ departure.

New Zealand Cricket was involved in “a process” to find a successor to Moles and that process was ongoing, its spokesperson Mike Henstock said.

The names of candidates who had been approached or had shown interest in the position could not be revealed for reasons of personal confidentiality, he said.

Henstock said there was no basis to suggest New Zealand had approached Arthur or that the South African had expressed interest in the coaching position.

A move to New Zealand might be seen as a retrograde career step for Arthur who led South Africa to Test cricket’s number one world ranking a year ago. New Zealand is seventh on Test rankings and had been hard-hit by the recent retirements of players such as Shane Bond, Jacob Oram and Nathan Astle. – Sapa-AP

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