New Zealand news December 7, 2012

Split leadership would be 'confusing' - Taylor

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand's outgoing captain, Ross Taylor, has said the coach Mike Hesson told him before the first Test against Sri Lanka that he did not want Taylor to lead the side after the tour. Taylor was this week offered the reins of the Test side in a joint captaincy scenario in which Brendon McCullum would lead in the short formats, but he declined the offer and made himself unavailable for the upcoming tour of South Africa, declaring his intention to return to the national side when the time was right.

Taylor, 28, has not indicated how long he will spend away from the game, and he wished McCullum every success as captain. Taylor's final act as the country's skipper was to score match-winning innings of 142 and 74 in Colombo, providing New Zealand with their first Test victory in Sri Lanka since 1998, but neither that nor his strong batting record as captain - he averaged 49.85 as Test leader - was enough to convince NZC to leave him in charge across all formats.

On Friday, Taylor released a statement in which he said he had met with NZC on Thursday and "accepted their apology for the way in which matters have been handled".

"I was told of the decision by NZ Cricket to change the captaincy on Tuesday of this week," Taylor said in the statement. "It was sad and disappointing from a personal perspective but it did not come as a great surprise. [Coach] Mike Hesson, [team manager] Mike Sandle and [assistant coach] Bob Carter met with me just prior to the first Test in Sri Lanka and raised concerns about my captaincy. The following day Mike Hesson said he did not want me to captain the team after the tour.

"Obviously the news and the timing was distressing but I was very focused on leading the team and putting everything I had into what was happening on the field, not off the field. It has been a very challenging and pressured time and I don't believe I can give 100% to the game at this time. I have decided that it is best for everyone if I decline the Test captaincy offer which could be confusing in terms of leadership for the team.

"Cricket is my life and my passion. I love the game and I love playing for my country. But taking a break is the right thing for me right now. My family and friends support my decisions that I have made after very serious thought and consideration.

"However I want people to know that I am determined to contribute to the Black Caps team in the future and help whoever is in charge to win games of cricket for New Zealand. That is my passion and it will continue to be so. We all need to show leadership in our own way, at all times, regardless of who is in charge.

"Brendon McCullum has been named captain and I wish him every success.

Taylor also said he appreciated the support of his fans in recent times and said the backing he had received from the public had been "very humbling and has meant a great deal to me"