New Zealand news December 8, 2012

I had no involvement in captaincy change - McCullum

ESPNcricinfo staff

I was asked if I would lead the one-day and Twenty20 teams two days ago, and then yesterday I was asked if I would lead the Test team, after Ross turned it down so about as much involvement I've had in this situation

Brendon McCullum, who took over as New Zealand captain under controversial circumstances after Ross Taylor refused an offer to remain as the leader of the Test team in a split-captaincy scenario, has said he is concerned for his predecessor as well as the team ahead of a tough tour of South Africa. Taylor has asked for a break and will not be travelling to South Africa.

"I'm more concerned now with how the team is handling the situation and where we go from here - how we try and galvanise the unit, rather than my own individual accolade of picking up the captaincy," McCullum told reporters at a press conference in Lincoln. "I'm obviously worried for Ross and how he is dealing with things at the moment, and obviously how we try and ensure that we pull together this team inside a very short space of time for what is going to be an incredibly tough tour."

McCullum said he had been in touch with Taylor, who said on Friday he felt he never had the support of New Zealand coach Mike Hesson. "I've spoken to him a couple of times - two days ago and then left a message with him again this morning - but he obviously needs a little bit of space at the moment as well, and I thought he did a really good job yesterday with the media of being able to deal with some tough circumstances," McCullum said. "Ross is an integral member of this team and he's vitally important to us in terms of how we're going to try and increase our performances. He's also a very popular member of the team as well and there's a lot of guys that will be feeling for him at the moment - we will welcome him back when he's good and ready.

"I know it hasn't been a great process with the way it's unfolded and I know there is a lot of anger towards it.

"I guess from our point of view, we now need to try and move forward and get some faith back into this team and build some rapport with the public because that's obviously taken a hit over the last seven days."

McCullum was upset at speculation that he may have had a role to play in the entire episode. "That's probably the thing that has come out through this week that's annoyed me the most. I guess that cuts right to the bone that someone would question your integrity and your character like that.

"I guess it's been mentioned on a number of occasions and to be totally honest, it is highly insulting, for people to cast aspersions when they certainly don't know the full circumstances.

"From my point of view, I had absolutely no involvement in that recommendation whatsoever. I was asked if I would lead the one-day and Twenty20 teams two days ago, and then yesterday I was asked if I would lead the Test team, after Ross turned it down so about as much involvement I've had in this situation."

Relations between Taylor and himself, McCullum said, were very good. "It's only really been media hype and fiction over the last 16 months, since the captaincy selection of Ross, which tried to drive a wedge between Ross and I.

"In terms of the public profile, we've got a very good and respectful relationship. We know each other, we've played with each other for a very long time and we know each others families."

McCullum hoped to welcome Taylor back to the New Zealand side and sympathised with Taylor for the situation he finds himself in. "I don't want to sit here and talk about how hard it's been on me, because it's certainly been a lot harder on other people, but you know that as long as, through your dealings, that you are honest and you maintain your integrity throughout, then you can look yourself in the eye and know that you're doing the right thing.

"Now Ross is going through some tough times and my thoughts are with him.

"When he is good and ready to come back, then we'll certainly welcome him back, and I'll be looking to help him as much as I possibly can to reach the standards he wants to reach in this game, to be an integral member of this team and play a vital part in that."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sunesh on December 11, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Latest TUI Billboard in Auckland: ".....I had no involvement in captaincy change - McCullum..." YEAH - RIGHT!

  • adam on December 11, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    @Michael Montgomery: Where on earth do you get the notion that McCullum will be a better captain than Taylor? Based on his captaincy record, which is appalling? Or do you just believe his hype? Nothing I have seen in McCullum's now long and disappointing career leads me to believe he has any feel for the game at all. He's mastered the art of appearing determined while his performances suggest anything but determination. If you think the recklessness and stupidity that characterises his batting translates to good captaincy, I would suggest that is a big gamble that was not worth sacking Taylor to find out about. This is a mess, that will gut whatever soul is left out of this team. McCullum has contrived to get everything he wants; not keeping, batting whever he wants, guaranteed selection, captaincy... but in each of those respects the NZ cricket team is poorer off. This little showoff needed to get put in his place years ago. Behind the stumps, batting at 7 and scoring some actual runs

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    Well this is the decision which should have been made a year ago. I Think Macca is a much better captain option, he has an aggressive, 'do or die' fighting approach to bowling options and field settings and isn't afraid to take a gamble to snatch a victory. Taylor seems more laxed, by the book approach and if that doesn't work then an 'o well, the games lost already' attitude seeps, with a 'we'll do better next time' mentality; resulting the NZ team losing its fight.

    We Drew the games in the world 20/20 against Sri Lanka and West indies(BOth finalists) due to Ross's field settings, defending boundaries, instead of protecting singles etc

    Yes they didn't go about it in a classy way. But Ross should of fell on his sword as captain within the past year,he didn't ,so they said they were going to push him, he REFUSED,so then they half pushed him and he's refused again and then choose not to go to South Africa as NZs 'best' batsmen. Lets hope he returns and finally mans up to bat at #3!!!

  • Hamish on December 11, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    I'm a bit uncomfortable with a captain who has such heavily manicured eyebrows.

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    this team is capable of greatness and will learn a lot from playing South Africa. I hope This episode will be learnt from by those at the top who have obviously failed and the team becomes proud of playing for New Zealand and New Zealand will be proud of this team. There are some exciting players and I will enjoy watching them perform in South Africa and when England come here.

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    Would the best test captain in the history of test cricket be able to get results out of this NZ team? The batting is thin and largely spineless. Guppy needs to stand up and be counted. If Brendon drops down the order who is the other opener? I read somewhere that McCullum liked opening now I've just read that he wants to bat at 4. I'd just like his test average to be in the 40's! Alistair Cook certainly likes to lead from the front! A lot is expected of Williamson. I like Flynn but he, like any number of batsmen , is involved in some kind of revolving door policy. I have really enjoyed Martin Crowe's articles. He speaks with clarity and makes good sense. As an Englishman living in NZ, I find myself strangely over- concerned about the fortunes of NZ cricket. I agree with the person who wrote that cricket needs a strong New Zealand team.

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    Former_NZ_fan stop talking such nonsense and being a troll... 'The most hated' are such strong words and they are not associated with cricket.... Sure bad times happen but it is the character that is produced in those times; 2 wins overseas that has not happened since when, 1998? 1992? Well who knows the stats are out there... Sure we got drilled at home but to lament everything on the captain is not acceptable. For shame on the NZ PANEL who discussed this in closed doors, what a mockery of teamwork indeed.

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    I find it funny how your commenting on Brendon as if you know him Former NZ Fan, I do and he is one of the most genuine people i have ever met. Your a classic talk back show caller who know's nothing about the situation but still feels like he should comment for the sake of it. Brendan had nothing to do with it and the fact is he will be a better leader. I am not saying Ross should of been treated this way, but its time to move on.

  • Alan on December 9, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    So the latest is that McCullum may finally move down the batting order now. I guess this is a mark of the man. Doesn't give a crap about what is best for the team when Taylor is the captain, but when his mate makes him the captain that all changes.

    McCullum supported Taylor as captain? Yeah right

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    It was very shocking for me! :(

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