OPINION: New Zealand Cricket cannot be surprised that the story it has told about Ross Taylor's ousting as captain is widely regarded by fans as fictional.
It's worth considering, however, that truth might be stranger than fiction. Chief executive David White seems not to understand it's almost worse for the organisation if the story adds up.
NZ Cricket would have us believe it is merely spectacularly incompetent and the coach it appointed has communication skills that are astoundingly poor. It would like to convince the public the abysmal treatment of the country's best batsman was actually intended to be a half-bitter pill to lighten his load.
After the one-day series against Sri Lanka and just before the first test, coach Mike Hesson told Taylor he would recommend a change of leadership. Hesson says he wanted Brendon McCullum to take over the captaincy in the limited-overs formats but Taylor should stay on as test captain.
A shame then that Hesson should neglect to mention the test captaincy bit. For weeks.
He told Radio Sport he wasn't "extremely specific".
A man who says he wanted a radical change of model somehow failed to mention words like "split captaincy".
Did he give no thought to the emotional impact of his message and how he might sweeten it?
Hesson's comment that he didn't know how Taylor would react to the split-captaincy idea he eventually recommended is concerning, but his initial communication of change was remarkably unfeeling or inept if his account is true.
White was asked on radio if Taylor, after skipping the South Africa tour, would captain the side in tests against England. The answer was swift. Taylor had declined the test captaincy and McCullum was offered the job.
But surely, if NZ Cricket was keen to persuade Taylor to stay on as test captain, White would have told him to take some time to think it over. Why would NZC slam the door so quickly on its beloved split-captaincy proposal - its No 1 preference for the future? In their meeting, Taylor was presumably clear to White he would not entertain the arrangement, nor would he ever. If so, how is it possible Hesson would not be sure how Taylor would react to the proposal? Was their relationship so poor that they hardly communicated?
Not according to White, who suggested the relationship was not too bad. Seriously?
Whatever, Hesson has made a hash of things while White was asleep at the wheel. NZ Cricket is one of the most ridiculous outfits around or its lack of integrity is contemptible. Either way, why do White and Hesson still have their jobs?
- The Manawatu Standard
Does more need to be done to protect NZ passports?