Photo Credit: New Zealand Cricket
Former Otago Volts player and selector Sam Wells has been appointed BLACKCAPS selection manager, taking over from Gavin Larsen ahead of the start of the domestic season.
The role is full-time in the summer with reduced hours in the winter and will see Wells work in conjunction with BLACKCAPS head coach and chief selector, Gary Stead.
The 39-year-old former all-rounder played 143 games for Otago and New Zealand A across all three formats in a ten-year career (2007-17), which included a call-up to the BLACKCAPS Test squad in 2012, although he never debuted.
Following his playing career, Wells was the selector for Otago A before taking over as convenor of selectors for the Volts this past season, all while continuing to practise law in Dunedin.
Wells, in conjunction with Stead, will be responsible for selecting all BLACKCAPS, New Zealand A and New Zealand XI squads for in-bound and out-bound tours.
NZC GM High Performance Bryan Stronach said the national selection manager was responsible for managing the selection processes, as well as working with domestic scouts and the Major Association coaches to stay up to date on the domestic scene.
Stronach said Wells impressed the panel with his grasp on the modern game and his understanding of selection dynamics, alongside his knowledge of domestic cricket in New Zealand.
“Sam’s playing and selecting experience, combined with his communication and legal skills presented a compelling case,” Stronach said.
“He’s well-versed in running robust processes where a variety of information and opinions are brought to the table to be considered – and that’s ultimately the role of the national selection manager.
“While Gary will ultimately make the final decisions as the chief selector, we want Sam preparing him with as much intel as possible, and then challenging his thinking and decisions.”
Wells, a self-confessed cricket tragic, said the job was an opportunity of a lifetime.
“I’m hugely passionate about cricket in this country and to be given the opportunity to contribute at the highest level is an honour and a privilege” he said.
“As a player, I always appreciated direct and honest communication from selectors and that’s what I will endeavour to bring to this role.
“Through my experiences as a player and outside cricket, I believe I can bring a skill set which fits well with the position.
“I can’t wait to get started this summer and hopefully help play a part in continuing the success of the BLACKCAPS.”
Wells will officially begin his role on October 16.