NZ Cricket 'worthless': Crowe

Martin Crowe: 'This week the game in New Zealand has been severely damaged. Permanently, I believe.'
Martin Crowe: 'This week the game in New Zealand has been severely damaged. Permanently, I believe.'
Former test batsman Martin Crowe says New Zealand Cricket has a toxic effect on players in this country and he wouldn't recommend the sport as a career choice.

Crowe, in a column on ESPNcricinfo.com, said the organisation had stripped the self-worth and "soul" from Ross Taylor after his axing as one-day and Twenty20 skipper in favour of Brendon McCullum, an act for which there was "no prosthetic".

"For a century we have embraced our favourite summer sport. It has added worth to our landscape, our culture, and to our international reputation as a nation," Crowe writes.

"Not any more. When an organisation like New Zealand Cricket starts stripping the self-worth (and I don't mean monetary worth) from talented athletes, when a young player enters the system and leaves it disillusioned and dispirited, the sport becomes worthless."

Crowe went on to note the side's lack of success on the international stage and criticised the leadership within New Zealand Cricket, namely chief executive David White and coach Mike Hesson.

"It's sad to see young people chase their dreams only to miss out. Of course that is part of life and its challenges. But in New Zealand the cricket environment is failing more players than ever. In short, that is why we are now ninth below Bangladesh in ODIs, and eighth in Tests and T20," he says.

"Cricket is tough on the individual; you can spend half your life playing only to retire in your mid-30s with no other skills to offer in the workforce because cricket has consumed all your time and energy.

"Over the last week NZC destroyed the soul of Ross Taylor, easily our best player. They have apparently apologised for the way his sacking from the captaincy was handled. Nevertheless they have amputated his spirit and there is no prosthetic for that. And yet NZC goes unaccountable. They continue to strip the worth from players and, therefore, as an organisation, they have definitely become worthless.

"The leadership has been poor in the past, but the fish head couldn't smell any worse now. From the chairman to the CEO to the coach to the manager, they have all played their collective part in what is arguably the most botched administration in New Zealand sporting history."

Crowe, who was employed by New Zealand Cricket to work as a talent scout, resigned from his post during the week in the wake of the Taylor saga.

The fallout from the whole issue, which has seen Brendon McCullum installed as captain of the national side in all three forms of the game could have irreversible damage, Crowe says.

"This week the game in New Zealand has been severely damaged. Permanently, I believe. Those who have contributed to this debacle may as well stay on because they have done such a murderous job that the next lot, no matter how good they are, will always be playing catch up. But those directly accountable should go, simply as rightful punishment.

"No matter what happens, who comes or goes, NZC has shown that it is not safe for a young person to risk the journey knowing that the likelihood of his or her worth being stolen away is odds on. If there is one thing in life that is always valuable and important, it's your feeling of self-worth. With cricket in New Zealand I wouldn't risk it; it's just not worth it."