Turner, often at odds with administrators during his career, was sacked as national coach at the end of the 1995-96 season. Following the statutory two-year silence clause, Turner pulls no punches in his book Lifting the Covers.
"A number of people have remarked that only a fool or a brave person would take on the job of coaching or managing the New Zealand men's cricket team in the 90's," he said. "I know what they mean." Turner, now a part- time technical coach with a provincial side, relates at length his troubled relationship with senior players.
Crowe, the finest batsman in New Zealand history, is described as moody and petulant. "He's about as temperamental as a cricketer can be, and those who know cricketers will realise that I'm talking about heights Himalayan."
Cairns, who took his 100th Test wicket this year, is depicted as spoilt. "Cairns always left one with the impression that he felt he'd been wronged, perpetually," Turner said.
The New Zealand players and management have been advised not to comment.
England are to employ the respected Australian coach, Peter Philpott, on their Ashes tour to teach their batsmen how to deal with the leg-spinners Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill. Philpott, a leg-spinner himself played Test cricket for Australia in the 1960s.
John Emburey has been sacked as Northamptonshire's chief coach after three years in the job.
Jack Russell, the England wicketkeeper, has been called up for next year's World Cup final at Lord's - as a painter. Russell, acclaimed for his paintings, has been commissioned to capture the event on canvas.
Digest, page 31