The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

John Wright named NZ cricket coach

Posted: 19 Dec 2010 07:50 PM PST

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Former India cricket coach John Wright has replaced Mark Greatbatch as New Zealand's national coach as New Zealand Cricket attempts to stem one of its worst international losing streaks.

Captain Daniel Vettori has also been stripped of some of his selection powers in restructuring announced Monday after an NZC review of series losses to Bangladesh and India.

New Zealand's 4-0 series loss to Bangladesh and 5-0 defeat to India took to 11 its losing streak in one-day internationals, approaching its record 13 straight losses in the mid-1990s.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said New Zealand's recent win-loss record was unacceptable.

"The changes being made are a direct result of that process and should make a real difference," he said.

Vaughan said Greatbatch would chair an independent selection panel which would include former New Zealand cricketers Glenn Turner and Lance Cairns. Wright and Vettori would have a say in the selection process but Vettori will no longer hold a place on the selection panel.

The coach and captain would continue to make selections while the New Zealand team is on tour. Greatbatch will also remain batting coach within New Zealand Cricket's high-performance program.

Wright will take over the role immediately ahead of New Zealand's home series against Pakistan which begins with a Twenty20 match on Dec. 26. The teams will meet in two tests, three Twenty20s and six one-day matches.

Wright played 82 tests and 149 one-day internationals as an opening batsman for New Zealand between 1978 and 1993 and coached India from 2000 to 2005.

During his time as coach, he led India to a 2-1 home test series win over Australia, a test series win over Pakistan and to the final of the 2003 World Cup. He was replaced in May, 2005 by Australian Greg Chappell.

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Harrison, Davis win way into Australian Open

Posted: 19 Dec 2010 07:49 PM PST

NORCROSS, Georgia (AP) - Americans Ryan Harrison and Lauren Davis have won wild cards into the Australian Open.

Harrison beat Jack Sock 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in the USTA's wild-card playoff. He lost in the first round last year in the Australian Open after winning the USTA wild card.

Davis beat Coco Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-2 to earn a spot in the women's draw.

On Sunday in Melbourne, Olivia Rogowska beat former world No. 4 Jelena Dokic 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in an Australian wild-card playoff. In the men's final for a wild card, Marinko Matosevic beat Peter Luczak 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

The Australian Open will be held from Jan. 17-30.

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