Mike Hesson defends Ross Taylor decision

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 08/12/2012
Daniel Tobin

New Zealand Cricket Head Coach Mike Hesson explains the reasons why Ross Taylor is no longer the ODI captain.

Mike Hesson
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
MIKE HESSON: Admits he may not have been clear that the leadership change he wanted was only in the limited overs game.

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Embattled New Zealand coach Mike Hesson defended his decision to strip Ross Taylor of the Black Caps' captaincy, saying change had to be made.

Hesson broke his silence yesterday on what has been a public relations nightmare for New Zealand Cricket (NZC), but said it was never his intention for Taylor to lose the test captaincy, just the one-day and Twenty20 roles.

He repeatedly said his recommendation to the NZC board was for Taylor to stay as test captain and Brendon McCullum to take over in the shorter forms of the game.

Hesson spoke of the importance of a split captaincy because of the stresses on a skipper and the hectic international schedule, but a massive communication breakdown appears to be the cause of him not getting everything he wants.

During the tour of Sri Lanka last month, Taylor, in a meeting with Hesson, assistant coach Bob Carter and manager Mike Sandle, was told there would be a change to the leadership structure.

Hesson yesterday claimed he meant Taylor would lose only the limited overs captaincy, though Fairfax understands Taylor was unaware of that fact. Hesson conceded he could have been clearer.

"The meeting was a review of the one-day series . . . but I didn't mention if [the change] was one form, two forms or three forms," he said.

"During our discussions, there was opportunities to get clarification. I understand through the media that he didn't know that and I certainly regret that."

Taylor has since made himself unavailable for the upcoming South African tour and McCullum will take the reins in all three forms.

Hesson was quick to point out that was not what he wanted and said New Zealand would be "worse off without Ross Taylor [in South Africa] without doubt".

"Ross Taylor is a superb batsman, he's our most consistent player, but I think it's very important to separate the batsman and the captaincy issue.

"It's been a very unfortunate week and very difficult week the way it's panned out. We certainly haven't got the result anyone wanted."

Hesson said he had attempted to speak to Taylor this week, but had not got through since Monday.

He said he was not privy to the discussion Taylor had with NZC boss David White and was unsure how much had been done to convince Taylor to tour.

Hesson blamed the Black Caps' one-day record for the move to oust Taylor.

"We've won five of our last 30 one-day internationals against top eight sides. We're now ranked No 9 in the world in one-day cricket . . . it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that something we're doing is not right and therefore I've recommended change."

Hesson left alone a question regarding Taylor's captaincy deficiencies, saying only that he thought McCullum would do a better job. "The one-day game and the T20 game change very quickly and I think Brendon certainly has attributes to really add to our team."

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He denied he had always wanted McCullum as his captain and said due process, and a lot of observation, had been carried out before the decision was made.

When Hesson was appointed, he told Fairfax one of the most important parts of his job was to win back the support of the general public.

This catastrophe has done the opposite, but Hesson hoped on-field improvements would be the best remedy.

"My focus is moving the Black Caps up the rankings and winning games of cricket," he said.

"Unfortunately, some of the decisions I make are not going to be popular with everybody, I understand that, but the decision is made because I want the best for the Black Caps."

- Canterbury

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