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New Zealand Cricket confirm ex Australia coach John Buchanan has left

Mike Hesson: Endured a tense relationship with immediate superior Buchanan

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New Zealand Cricket has announced that former Australian coach John Buchanan has left his post as director of cricket, effective immediately, after just over two years in the job.

"(He) is disappointed to be leaving NZC at this time, as he has enjoyed his work there," said a NZC statement. "However, due to family circumstances, he has decided to return to Australia."

Buchanan had reportedly been sidelined in New Zealand since late last year, when he supported Ross Taylor after coach Mike Hesson sacked the batsman as skipper in favour of Brendon McCullum.

He was appointed in May 2011 with a contract running through to the 2015 World Cup, with his role seen as providing "a consistent coaching philosophy" in New Zealand, while also overseeing talent identification and the selection panel.

Respects

However, Wright was then marginalised and endured a tense relationship with former coach John Wright, who stepped down in May last year, and Wright's successor Hesson.

The NZC did not reveal if Buchanan would receive a payout for the remainder of his contract, saying employment agreements were strictly confidential.

"NZC respects John's decision to return home and we wish him well for his future endeavours," it said.

Buchanan's eight years at the helm of the Australia side, from 1999 to 2007, coincided with a golden era for the Baggy Greens when they claimed three World Cups and won a record 16 consecutive Test victories.

In a separate statement, NZC confirmed head selector Kim Littlejohn, who was appointed by Buchanan, would not continue in the role after his contract expires in September.