New Zealand coach Mike Hesson regrets a communication
breakdown between him and dumped captain Ross Taylor, but
stands by his decision to make a drastic change.
One of the messier sagas in New Zealand sport culminated
yesterday in Brendon McCullum's appointment as Black Caps
captain in all three formats of the game.
McCullum, a 31-year-old King's High School old boy and
second-generation Otago representative who began his cricket
career at Dunedin's Albion club, is the first Otago player to
lead New Zealand since Ken Rutherford, who was captain from
1993 to 1995.
Taylor, stripped of the captaincy after declining an offer to
remain skipper only of the test side, has pulled out of the
tour to South Africa and said Hesson had ''never supported me
through the whole time I'd been captain''.
Hesson was to fly back to Dunedin last night, looking forward
to a weekend with his young family before taking the new-look
Black Caps to South Africa.
He confirmed to the Otago Daily Times the leadership issue
came to a head when, at a one-day series review in Sri Lanka
on November 13, he told Taylor he would recommend the
captaincy be split.
''That was based on the amount of cricket that's played. For
one person to do that job is a tough ask,'' Hesson said.
''Ross is still sort of newish to the role. I felt it would
be far better if he focused on the test game. Brendon brings
some real quality in terms of adaptability. The fast-paced
game suits his style better.''
Hesson acknowledged he should have been more specific
regarding his plans for the split captaincy.
''I felt, because it was the one-day review, it was
self-explanatory. But it obviously wasn't. I certainly regret
The pair's relationship became ''strained'' as a result,
The decision was based on what he had seen since being
appointed in July. It was purely about getting better results
in limited-overs cricket.
''Our one-day ranking is ninth. We've won five of our last 30
games against top eight opposition. I believe we needed a
''I thought Brendon's skill set would fit the team nicely.
Brendon has to stamp his mark on things now, and I'm
confident he's got the ability to do that.
''It's a tough ask, taking on all three roles, but I know
he's keen to get into it.''
Details emerged yesterday of a meeting between Taylor,
Hesson, assistant coach Bob Carter and manager Mike Sandle
before the first test in Galle last month.
''They told me I wasn't good enough as a captain, wasn't good
enough for this team,'' Taylor told The New Zealand Herald.
Taylor (28) confirmed he had declined New Zealand Cricket's
offer to be test and tour captain, saying having a split
captaincy would lead to ''confusion''.
''I was offered the test captaincy a couple of weeks [after
the Sri Lanka meeting], when it was clear to me from
conversations, they didn't want me at all,'' Taylor said.
''It wasn't huge shock.
''Hesson never supported me through the whole time I'd been
captain, but I was surprised by the timing.''
Taylor acknowledged he was not the perfect captain, but said
he felt he had improved.
''I was far from the finished product, but I lacked a lot of
support from the management in a lot of areas, which was
disappointing. Under [John] Wrighty, I was learning a lot;
under Hesson, the relationship was pretty poor. I didn't
think he supported me in that role.''
On the question of his relationship with McCullum, Taylor was
matter of fact.
''We're teammates and I fully support him. I'm behind him
It is not clear whether Taylor will return for the marquee
home series against England, though he made it clear he has
unfinished business in the sport.
McCullum was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Additional reporting: The New Zealand Herald