I had the opportunity to work as High performance Director for New Zealand Cricket when appointed by CEO, Justin Vaughan in April 2011 to August 2013.
I was brought in to improve their High Performance system and at the same time, help the Blackcaps improve their international performances.
Justin Vaughan resigned soon after I took up the role, and was replaced by the less intellectual, bullish and jockey-sized, David White.
John Wright was coach of the Blackcaps, and with Daniel Vettori stepping down as captain, he chose Ross Taylor ahead of Brendon McCullum as captain – a decision I fully supported.
Brendon, another man of small stature, but as an athlete, is tough as teak. I had made Brendon captain of Kolkata Knight Riders in my second tournament of IPL in place of the local prince, Sourav Ganguly.
This was a move fraught with danger for me. And when we were having an abysmal run of losing games in South Africa during IPL II, I was replaced as Head Coach.
In this period though, I saw a lot of Brendon and what he brings to the table as a leader. Like all leaders, he definitely wants to lead by example. He throws himself literally into the fray, and beckons everyone to follow. He is passionate about those whom he represents, none more so than the Silver Fern.
He is old school in terms of keeping things simple, playing hard; but then he is able to relax and be very sociable. He brings great harmony to the group provided there is a good ‘fit’ with his framework of how to play the game.
The final pint-sized member of the trio is the new Head Coach, Mike Hesson.
Mike Hesson arrived on the scene when I did not re-appoint John Wright.
Hesson was certainly not favoured to gain the position, but once he was ensconced, he wasted no time in removing Ross Taylor from captaincy and placing his old house-mate from Dunedin days, Brendon McCullum in the role.
Part of the High Performance strategic plan that I had formulated for NZ Cricket was to favour the development of the ODI side ahead of their Test cricket aspirations. It was my view New Zealand had performed well in this arena over a period of time; the playing skill sets were better suited to the short form of the game; and of course there was a World Cup in their backyard in 2015.
There will be many stories told at some later occasions about those turgid times while I was in the role of High Performance Director – but as I say, that is not for now.
It is time to recognise that the three small men of New Zealand Cricket Brendon McCullum, Mike Hesson and David White have done an amazing job to have the Blackcaps on the brink of World Cup success.
This diminutive trio have engineered a campaign that has everyone in New Zealand walking tall!