Former Otago allrounder Sam Wells has been appointed New Zealand's selection manager, taking over from Gavin Larsen ahead of the start of the upcoming domestic season. Wells, who has also been a selector for Otago, will work alongside head coach Gary Stead, who is also New Zealand's chief selector.
Wells, 39, played 61 first-class and 43 List-A games for Otago as well as two first-class matches for New Zealand A, in a career that started in 2007-08 and ended in 2016-17. He was even called up to the Test squad in January 2012, though he didn't get the chance to make his international debut. After his playing career ended, Wells was a selector for Otago A, before taking over as convenor of selectors for Otago during the 2022-23 domestic season - all this while continuing to practice law in Dunedin.
"Sam's playing and selecting experience, combined with his communication and legal skills presented a compelling case," NZC GM High Performance Bryan 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."
Larsen, who Wells succeeds as selection manager, had stepped down from the post this March, after almost eight years in charge.
Wells' role with the senior New Zealand side will be full-time in the summer but with reduced hours in the winter, with him starting officially on October 16.
"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" Wells 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."