White faces media heat over captaincy saga

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 13:22 07/12/2012
David White
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ
MISUNDERSTANDING: David White says he has been assured by senior management that Shane Bond's account of events is inaccurate.
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There he was: David White, the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket, a man caught between two creases.

A former first-class and test batsman, he'd been in this position before on the pitch; one no one holding a bat likes to be in.

But this was different.

At one end, the misfiring Black Caps side. At the other, a resolved situation with the captaincy pointing the international team back towards success.

White was looking well short of the end he wanted to be heading to.

He had just announced the news the cricket world knew was coming. That Ross Taylor had been effectively stripped of the Black Caps captaincy, despite been offered the test job.

That the now former skipper would be taking a 'break' from cricket until the tour of the English to New Zealand next February and March.

That Brendon McCullum, old mate of coach Mike Hesson, would be the new captain, effective immediately - on the recommendation of the coach, even though Taylor was offered the test role.

Cue an artillery battery of questions from an army of sports journalists, who sometimes wait months, if not years, for stories as juicy as this.

Cue an uncomfortable White, fidgeting with his fingers, trying his best to answer the horde.

It was awkward, it was ugly. It was a situation the media dream about: a man being held account for an absolutely appallingly executed operation by a national sporting body, and its board.

White, describing the events of the previous few days as ''not ideal'', copped it something chronic. There was maintaining of ''accountability'' and back-tracking on questions.

Was Taylor stripped of the captaincy? ''No.'' Is he captain of the team anymore? ''Well, no.''

The immediate effects will be this: missing its best batsman, New Zealand will struggle in the Republic, with the tests looming as potential massacres for the visiting Kiwis.

Taylor, after his 'break', will be available again for the England tour, but how he can possibly walk back into that dressing room with Hesson still there is beyond almost anyone's thinking.

The on-going affects could be even worse. How the public view Hesson, White, the Black Caps and New Zealand Cricket as a whole need not be stated. The organisation has plenty of work on its hands this summer.

Starting from now - heading to the right crease, and taking guard. The next spell for White is going to be just as fiery.

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