New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has confirmed he
told Ross Taylor on the eve of a test match that he wanted a
change in captaincy.
Fronting up to the media for the first time after a week of
speculation that Taylor was dropped as captain, Hesson
confirmed a meeting in Sri Lanka on November 13 where Taylor
was told he would be stripped of the captaincy.
It came after a review following the one day series, and four
days before the first Test in Galle, and included Hesson,
assistant coach Bob Carter, manager Mike Sandle, and Taylor.
"Unfortunately, there's never a good time to deliver news
like that," he said.
But there was confusion over what forms of the game he meant.
He said he regretted if Taylor felt he meant he was
questioning his test leadership.
"I didn't mention if it was in one, two, or three forms of
the game," he said.
On return to New Zealand, he told Taylor he wanted to replace
him as ODI and T20 captain. He recommended that Brendon
McCullum take over the reigns of the shorter formats and for
Taylor to retain the test job.
He said he wanted to tell Taylor of his recommendation to the
board before he learned of it elsewhere.
Hesson rejected claims it was a "token gesture" to placate
Taylor, saying test cricket was "not a token gesture".
Questioned over the timing, he said he wanted to get the
meeting "out of the way", so he could make his
recommendations and move forward.
Hesson said split captaincy worked in other countries, and
helped share the large workload.
Asked about Taylor's decision not to go to South Africa, he
said: "I'm sure Ross has his reason for not coming. It was a
difficult decision to have. Ross has clearly been affected by
that, as anyone would. We're very disappointed, but
understand he's made his decision."
The last time he'd spoken to Taylor was Monday, he said.
He'd tried phoning him since, but not got through to him.
The team would be "worse off" without him, he admitted.
Hesson said he was well aware of the media storm of this
week, saying he's been part of it. But he said he made the
decision to try and lift New Zealand from the bottom of the
NZC chief executive David White phoned McCullum last night,
Hesson said, and offered him the captaincy in all three
formats. McCullum accepted the offer.
The decision means that Hesson has exactly what he was trying
to avoid - one captain for all formats.
"It's been a very unfortunate week, and a difficult week ...
and not the result anyone wanted." he said.
Hesson said he informed his boss, NZC director of cricket
John Buchanan, of his recommendations.
Asked if Buchanan, who had recommended Taylor for the
captaincy in the first place, supported Hesson's move, he was
"I'm not exactly sure of his stance. We don't agree on
everything," he said.