NZ Cricket plays dead bat over 'lies' claim

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2012

Hesson on Captaincy change

Ross Taylor
Reuters
ROSS TAYLOR: "In no way was he implying for one form of the game, he was implying for the whole of it."

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New Zealand Cricket put up the shutters last night, despite damning suggestions from dumped captain Ross Taylor that someone within the organisation was misrepresenting the truth.

Just when NZC hoped the worst of Taylor-gate might be over, he added more fuel to the firestorm in a radio interview yesterday.

Asked if someone from NZC was lying about what was said in the November 13 meeting which sealed his fate, Taylor replied ''definitely''.

Taylor, in a series of interviews on Friday and over the weekend, maintained the meeting with coach Mike Hesson, manager Mike Sandle and assistant coach Bob Carter, four days out from the first test against Sri Lanka, left him in no doubt.

This was followed by a one-on-one with Hesson the next day where he said he'd recommend a change of skipper on the team's return.

''In no way was he [Hesson] implying for one form of the game, he was implying [losing the captaincy] for the whole of it,'' he told the Dominion Post on Friday.

Chief executive David White and Hesson were both unavailable for comment last night, having only clouded the issue on Friday.

A spokesman said White's position hadn't changed from labelling it a ''misunderstanding''.

Hesson earlier said he regretted the way it was communicated to Taylor but insisted he always wanted him to remain as test skipper, with Brendon McCullum taking over the T20 and ODI captaincy.

Attempts were made to contact Sandle and Carter last night about what was actually said at the meeting but neither returned phone messages.

One source who spoke to Taylor after the November 13 meeting said the situation was clear cut.

''There's no question Ross was going to be stripped of the captaincy in all three formats.''

It appears things changed after Taylor's man-of-the-match performance in the second test in Colombo as New Zealand won by 167 runs. Regardless, the timing of the meeting, as part of a review into the ODI series, was appalling.

''It's the dumbest thing a coach could do before a test series.''

With both sides standing firm, the issue will continue festering until England's tour of New Zealand starts in February. Taylor has targeted a return for that series under McCullum's captaincy but it remains difficult to see how Taylor and Hesson can exist in the same team.

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Taylor also spoke yesterday of a stand-off between he and Hesson over their choice of vice-captain if he or McCullum were absent.

Taylor supported Kane Williamson but said Hesson told him Nathan McCullum would be captain.

Meanwhile, former NZC boss Martin Snedden was reluctant to comment on the fiasco, or suggestions he may be keen to join an NZC board low on top-level cricket expertise.

Snedden, the Tourism Industry Association chief executive, said he hadn't given any thought to a spot on the board.

Board members John Hansen and Bill Francis didn't return calls last night for their view of the situation.

- Sport

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