John Buchanan (cricketer)

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Not to be confused with the English cricketer John Buchanan (cricketer, born 1887).

John Marshall Buchanan (born 5 April 1953 in Ipswich, Queensland) is the former coach of the Australia national cricket team and of Kolkata Knight Riders team in the Indian Premier League. John Buchanan is a King's Old Collegian (University of Queensland, Brisbane) and is also an old boy of The Southport School, located in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Buchanan is also known in cricketing circles as 'Ned Flanders', due to his similarity in appearance to The Simpsons character.[1]

Early career[edit]

Buchanan had a brief first-class career with Queensland in 1978/79 in which he played in 7 matches and hit 160 runs. He also played league cricket in England including a spell at Hyde Cricket Club in Cheshire.

Buchanan began his coaching career in England- he was player/coach/professional for Oldham in Central Lancashire league as well as Cambridgeshire in Minor Counties 1978 & 79. Oldham won the League and Cup double in 79 which was first time in some 40 odd years.[2]

Prior to the senior coaching position, he had five successful years as the Queensland Bulls coach in which they enjoyed two Sheffield Shield titles, the one in 1994/95 was the first in the state's history, and two Mercantile Mutual Cup wins. He also coached Middlesex in 1998.

Australian coach[edit]

Buchanan served as the coach of the Australian cricket team. Appointed in October 1999 to replace Geoff Marsh he was considered an unlikely candidate given that he had not played at the Test level as had his predecessors, Marsh and Bob Simpson. His initial results were very impressive however as he has helped steer the team to unprecedented success. At one stage his record was 15 wins from 15 games played. However, his contributions have often been questioned by legends of the game including Ian Chappell, Sunil Gavaskar and even Shane Warne who played under him. The most common criticism has been that he inherited a very strong team and his presence just happened to coincide with their victories. Warne has consistently held that Buchanan tends to reinvent everything and complicate all aspects of the game.[3] Buchanan has, along with former captain Ricky Ponting, led the side to numerous successes, including a world-record 16 consecutive Test match victories and 23 ODI victories in world cup tournaments, Buchanan only not involved in the first one, a 2001 and 2002-03 Ashes domination winning both series 4-1, the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup in South Africa, the 2004 tour of India, in which Australia hadn't won a series there in thirty-six years, and more recently, following their shock Ashes defeat, a whitewash of the Super Series that saw the Aussies up against a World XI. In late 2006 he helped the team to their first ever ICC Champions Trophy victory, after four previously failed attempts and followed this with a 5-0 whitewash in the 2006-07 Ashes Series, the first since the 1920-21 Series. In 2007 his team won their third consecutive world cup. His unorthodox methods have raised a few eyebrows and Shane Warne was dismissive about his role in the team.[4] Ponting credits him as being one of the important reasons[5] why Australia completed their World Cup hat trick of wins.

Post-retirement[edit]

Following his retirement as Australia's cricket coach, Buchanan has declined an indirect approach to coach the Indian cricket team on the grounds that he was not yet ready for another international assignment.[6][7] However Buchanan has not ruled out a return to coaching an international cricket team in the future.

In mid-2006, Buchanan confirmed that at the conclusion of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, he would step down, possibly to coach the Southern Redbacks.[8] However, in October 2007, he accepted a position as Ambassador for Cricket Coaches in Australia, where he hopes to use his experience to help the development of Australian coaches in the future.[9]

Buchanan released a book named, "If Better Is Possible". His book shows how business managers at all levels can lead their teams to greatness, and explores in detail what it takes to build and sustain a champion team. The book offers guidance on making important, and life changing choices, creating a culture of success, gaining mental toughness, using system, and processes to achieve winning advantage, and providing leadership opportunities. It presents valuable insight into the strategic thinking behind shaping, and leading an elite team. The book starts by quoting Henry Kissinger: "....take people where they have never been before....."

In 2009 Buchanan was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.[10]

Kolkata Knight Riders[edit]

During the second season of the IPL, Buchanan's strategies for KKR raised a lot of controversies which were further alleviated because of the team's poor performance.[11] Sunil Gavaskar, a former Indian player also accused Buchanan and his coaching staff of racial discrimination against players from India.[12] He was sacked in June 2009 by the team owners for his poor performance.[13]

England consultant[edit]

In preparation for the 2010–11 Ashes series, the England and Wales Cricket Board hired Buchanan to act as a consultant to the England Cricket Team.[14]

New Zealand Director of Cricket[edit]

Buchanan was appointed to the role of Director of Cricket for New Zealand Cricket in May 2011. Buchanan was appointed to oversee the establishment of New Zealand Cricket's new high performance programme.[15] He was heavily criticised as he gave Black Cap play Ross Taylor Captaincy over the likely candidate of Brendon McCullum. However two years later Taylor was sacked and McCullum appointed as captain. In July 2013 he resigned from his role as Director of cricket.

References[edit]

Preceded by
Geoff Marsh
Australian National Cricket Coach
October 1999 - May 2007
Succeeded by
Tim Nielsen