New Zealand news January 29, 2010

Ross Taylor promoted to 'stand-by' captain

Cricinfo staff

Ross Taylor has been named as 'stand-by' captain for the upcoming Bangladesh and Australia series, giving him a more senior role with the national team. A statement by New Zealand Cricket said Taylor was not vice-captain but will take over as leader if Daniel Vettori is unavailable for any match over the home summer.

Brendon McCullum was Vettori's deputy till last October but was relieved of his duties soon after Andy Moles stepped down as national coach. Geoff Allott, NZC's general manager of cricket, said both McCullum and Taylor were potential captains and that the latest move was an effort to polish Taylor's leadership skills.

"The Black Caps have deliberately not named a vice-captain in recent times as we wish to allow development of a broader leadership group," Allott said. "We are fortunate to currently have two outstanding individuals in Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum, who could both assume the captaincy in the event Daniel Vettori was not available."

The elevation marks a rapid rise for Taylor, who made his international debut less than four years ago. "Brendon has recently fulfilled the role of stand-by captain, and Ross now gets his opportunity this summer," Allott said. "Both players have offered on-field support and assistance to Dan during recent tours and it is anticipated that this will continue."

Taylor's appointment should not be seen as a demotion for McCullum, said Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief executive. "This by no means is saying the Ross is number two and Brendon is number three - that isn't the case," he said. "Brendon will play the stand-by captain's role in future series."

New Zealand's next international assignment is the Bangladesh series, which starts with a Twenty20 on Wednesday in Hamilton.