Butler mentioned as Otago assistant coach: source

Ian Butler
Ian Butler
Otago has begun its search for an assistant coach and former Black Cap and Volts seamer Ian Butler’s name appears to be at the top of the wish list.

Butler could not be reached for comment yesterday and Otago Cricket Association performance and talent manager Simon Forde declined to comment specifically on the Butler rumours.

But the 39-year-old’s name has been mentioned in relation to a coaching role from a source close to the Volts.

Otago is looking to add an assistant coach who "ideally has specialist skills in the area of bowling to assist in the development and growth of our identified players" the job advertisement reads.

Former Zimbabwe opener Dion Ebrahim was appointed as head coach last week.

He has the batting covered and Butler would seemingly be a nice addition to the management team.

The programme has arguably lacked someone who could provide expert bowling support.

Key all-rounder Nathan Smith listed the extra bowling support available in Wellington as one of the factors in his decision to move north this summer.

"Ian is more than welcome to apply for the role if he sees it as a match for his skills," Forde said.

But when asked specifically if the association had approached Butler about the role, Forde said: "I’m not going to answer that".

Applications close on June 18.

Butler played eight tests, 26 one-day internationals and 19 twenty20 internationals for New Zealand from 2002 to 2013.

He played for Northern Districts during the early part of his career. The right-armer was awfully rapid in his younger days but a painful back injury intervened.

He missed the 2005-06 season but reinvented himself as an all-rounder. His move South to Otago in 2008-09 rejuvenated his career.

He was recalled to the Black Caps one-day side and was included in the T20 side.

He also earned a test recall but was named 12th man.

Butler retired from cricket following the 2013-14 season and has been living in Sydney where he has been working as a cricket coach at Knox Grammar Senior School for the past seven years.

He also coaches the Northern District Cricket Club in Sydney.

Butler was a big fan of Dunedin when he lived here but a sticking point may centre around whether the Volts are willing or able to pay Sydney-type wages.

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