NZC offers little over Ross Taylor sacking
Sorry, Ross, to you and your family. That's all we got from 40 minutes at the Basin Reserve with the New Zealand Cricket chairman and the chief executive yesterday.
No sackings, very few answers. Let the finger-pointing continue into Christmas dinner over Taylor-gate as the Black Caps tackle South Africa under new skipper Brendon McCullum.
Did anybody lie about the events which led to Taylor's removal as captain? Taylor said "definitely" on Monday; chairman Chris Moller and chief executive David White each said "no comment" in their first public appearances since the former skipper's damning assertion.
A forensic examination into "additional material" is under way. This ushered in the dreaded press conference killer: "no further comment about the captaincy process or related issues".
Coach Mike Hesson, Taylor's executioner, flew to South Africa yesterday with not a public word since Friday when he insisted the plan all along was to retain Taylor as test captain. Taylor disagrees, strongly.
Hesson fronted the board on Monday in a five-hour meeting. Moller said that was already planned as a please-explain for the team's poor recent results (Colombo excepted). The board agreed it took the correct decision to support the captaincy change.
Hesson remains their man. "No heads will roll," Moller said.
So what is this additional information? It seems only Taylor, Hesson, manager Mike Sandle and assistant coach Bob Carter can answer that.
The latter three entered Taylor's room on November 13, four days before the first test, and in Taylor's words told him: "I wasn't good enough to captain the team."
Hesson met with him the next day and said he would recommend a change in captain when the team return home.
Taylor is adamant. "In no way was he implying for one form of the game, he was implying for the whole of it." So unless a tape recording was made of either meeting, it's Taylor's word against his three-strong firing squad.
The additional material won't cause anyone to lose their jobs, Moller said, but the board will consider if any action is required. If Taylor's bluff is called, what are they going to do? Sack him?
Back to square one.
Moller said of Taylor: "Clearly he went through a lot of angst. Clearly we perhaps could have communicated better . . . I'm not going any further."
White was again asked about Hesson and Taylor's relationship. How can they exist in the same dressing room for the England series in February-March, Taylor's targeted return?
"Ross Taylor is an outstanding batsman and a quality person and I'd like to think he will be back, absolutely. We'll be doing everything we can, working closely with him to ensure he comes back and performs at that level," White said.
Under Hesson's coaching? "Absolutely."
White agreed a lot of work was required for them to build a strong working relationship.
To critics of the board, Moller offered appeasement by saying an independent review of NZC's governance was already under way. A special general meeting will be convened next year to rubber stamp a "modern day constitution". All current board members must reapply for six spots; the other two will be appointed.
Moller challenged former international players to apply for the unpaid position, if they had the required skills. Dion Nash, a staunch critic of the current board, appears one target. Moller said he'd tried, but failed, to lure other former internationals.
Then former skipper John Parker went on radio to say he and Martin Crowe had put their hands up for the board but didn't make it through the selection process. Here we go again.
The Dominion Post