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I had no involvement in captaincy change - McCullum

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 8, 2012

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

Brendon McCullum shakes Ross Taylor's hand, New Zealand v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup 2011, Motera, March 4, 2011
Brendon McCullum has expressed concern and sympathy for Ross Taylor © Getty Images

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by KiwiSam on (December 11, 2012, 22:29 GMT)

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

Posted by RichDeGroen 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

Posted by   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!!!

Posted by Maccanui on (December 11, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

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

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by Bring_back_Wright 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

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

It was very shocking for me! :(

Posted by yetigoat on (December 9, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

i'll be surprised if McCullum opens. he will bat at 4 which is where he wanted to be in the first place. they will force someone who doesn't open at FC level to open against South Africa

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

mccullum is much better player than ross taylor. i believe on him and think that there is no hand of mccullum in change of captaincy.but taylor is also a good player and hope that he will be back in team as soon as possible. i give all blame to coach mike hesson who is proving to be worst coach in history of cricket and ask NZ cricket team to fire hesson and bring taylor because NZ is incomplete without taylor. snd regarding captain i think mccullum is suitable as he is more experienced than taylor.come back taylor.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

a very strange move by Kiwis to remove Rossy and bring Maculum, especially after Rossy won the last test match in SL and drew the series. Really strange, although Macculum is crying now that he has no role in this episode but seems like something fishy!!! May be a great Kiwi batsman career is going to be over with this episode. Rossy should come back and so the world that he is among the legends!!!

Posted by Raju_Iyer on (December 9, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

Feel sorry for NZ cricket, I thought these things happen only in India where the captain and coach are at loggerheads (Ganguly-Chappell). Have always respected the Kiwis for their sheer talent and always always punching above their weight, can't forget how they knocked out South Africa out of the World Cup in 2011.Hope things get sorted out , world cricket needs a good, strong team from New Zealand.

Posted by Simoc on (December 9, 2012, 5:05 GMT)

Brendon McCullum has been good at ODI and T20 in the past but wouldn't make any other test team in the world (though Zimbabwe may be kind to him). Hesson would be the most incompetent national coach in cricket history but has mates in high places. There is no light ahead for NZ cricket at present .

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

these English people show their self that they no belief in races um but whenever they get the opportunity they do it.

Posted by Bring_back_Wright on (December 9, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

McCullum/Hessan must think we are stupid, the lies that they are sprouting. Most hated coach and captain in NZ cricket history?

Posted by KingOwl on (December 9, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

"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" says McCullum. That does not sound like a strong relationship! I think there will be more trouble ahead. I will be surprised if the coach is not fired before long.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 2:23 GMT)

It Is a shocking situation for NZ cricket.....I think the coach Mike Hesson should be sacked and McCullum step down if he has any decency left. Taylor should be reappointed as Captain other wise NZ Cricket will never recover and this blemsh can never be erased.

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (December 9, 2012, 1:38 GMT)

Great decision here by NZC. Handing the captaincy to a man whos T20 average is better than his test and ODI average. Ahh well at least it means we won't have a reapeat of Hobart next time the Aussies play them.

In all seriousness though, terrible decision and handling of the matter. I do hate to see the Kiwi's lose because they do actually look like a bunch of genuine nice guys. Hopefully they learn from their mistakes and this won't happen again.

Posted by nekomolly on (December 8, 2012, 23:15 GMT)

Amazing that the coach (hirer and firer) had no conversation with the leader in waiting before sacking the incumbent.

Posted by RobTay14 on (December 8, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

Well I don't really care for McCullum, Taylor is the much better player, and he seemed like a good captain, can't wait to see him back.

Posted by PureTom on (December 8, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

Until such time as NZC, and especially the coaches they appoint start to treat the members of the Black Caps as men and not boys they will always be the "boys" of international cricket...

Posted by BobCo on (December 8, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

NZ without Taylor... by far their best batsman at the moment, and a good chance of turning into a good captain. Hesson needs to go -- his lack of communication skills (perhaps intentional) in several key talks with Taylor have destroyed a good 12+ months of work. NZ has been developing under Taylor. This is a major backward step -- McCullum has still not really justified his position as a batsman only and is now all but assured that he doesn't have to. Taylor, meanwhile, has been batting well under pretty ugly pressure (who knows what was going through his head with Hesson telling him "I don't support your captaincy"?), and now his head will be even more messed up. Not good on several fronts. Just hope Taylor can get his head back in the right place and keep on piling on the runs.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (December 8, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

I feel for Taylor . Not best performance. By coach and board with handling this situation

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

Well it's good to see McCullum has a good relationship with Taylor. Taylor's a wonderful batsman, but I don't think he reached that mark as a captain. It will be tough without Taylor and Vettori in SA, but I would love to see NZ do well & McCullum start off his captaincy on a good note in South Africa, all the best! :)

Posted by Sarmad3007 on (December 8, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

where is jesse ryder. nz need him badly.Discipline is a issue take the example of symonds,akhtar,harbhajan.taylor should focus on batting as younis is doing for pak.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

World Cricket now trying to set up a "Soccer-style" system which will not work for the game . Players will always work for or against a Coach. its as simple as that , no matter how good the Players or Coach.

Posted by RichDeGroen on (December 8, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Oh McCullum is annoyed is he? Poor guy. So why did he accept the job? Because he's a patriot? Because he wants to do whats best for the team? Whats best was to support Ross in his role, and do his own job which is to score some runs at last. Neither of which he did. Sorry Brendon, there is blood on your hands here for sure, so own it like a man.

And why was he even offered the test job when Hesson made such a point of wanting to split the captaincy? Hypocrisy in every direction. I hope this team goes down the sinkhole in SA, I can't stand them anymore. And in particular I can't wait to see Steyn and Morkel deal with our supposed 'opening batsman' and 'captain'.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

I suspect that McCallum was not involved in the captaincy change in terms of the actual recommendation that went to NZC, but I would find it difficult to imagine that he was not privileged to Hesson's thinking. Both Hesson and McCallum have a long history together from their association with the Otago team. I would imagine the possible scenarios may have been "run by" McCallum, perhaps his opinion also solicited. These are speculative thoughts, but human nature and friendships more often than not involve the sharing of private thoughts and seeking confirmation of those thoughts.

Is McCallum so squeaky clean? Politically, he has done the right thing to distance himself from the debacle and also acknowledge that the process was far from satisfactory. But as I have already commented on other posts.....heads must roll and we all know who is first in line.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (December 8, 2012, 10:35 GMT)

@Clyde, Bradman probably didnt have one ,thats why he was so good!!. Man, unheard of coaches are judging class players. Ridiculous.

Posted by vaughanw on (December 8, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

A good mate of Taylor's knowing what was going on would have turned it down with honor! Are we expected to believe he knew nothing? Lol... What a load of rubbish. He knew exactly what was happening! I thought these political happenings only went on in places like libya, Venezuela and the middle east! Anyhow, it's done... So the Hesson-mcCullum dynasty needs to deliver fast or I'm sure they will soon find out that they too are not immune from NZC knives! Good luck in SA! If this is the kind of behaviour that is acceptable in NZC, then Martin Crowe is absolutely right- if you have any cricketing ability, go and play somewhere else! I think I might join the Barmy Army! Signed disgruntled Black Caps fan! Ps now we all know how Taylor scored 50 almost without a boundary in the second innings! Stunning performance given the circumstances.

Posted by peece on (December 8, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

Its a debacle the NZ cricket can ill-afford and the way it was played out in the public eye is pitiful. The man management skills of the NZ cricket board seem worse that those displayed by England management recently in dealing with their most high profile player.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

After reading what Baz has to say, it is clear he approves of what has happened - his ambition is to be the leader and he is seemingly unconcerned about the manner of change. His only worry is that HE, "Baz the Skipper", might find himself without the services of the best batsman. In a situation such as this, there are two choices open to the players: either bow to the yoke or stand up and say no, we do not accept this and collectively resign until sweeping changes in management are made. To use a medical simile, doing the former is like sewing up a gangrenous wound, doing the latter cures the infection and allows the patient to recover.

Posted by dcnbwz on (December 8, 2012, 9:37 GMT)

And here come the McCullum bashers. Brendan has been (and still is) a great cricketer, one of the best Nz has, yet the world of talkback callers and tall poppy bashers always seem to appear every time his name is mentioned.

About time to give it a break people, most of it seems fantasy and jealousy.

And as he says - he had absolutely nothing to do with this. The administration are completely to blame.

Posted by liaqathussain on (December 8, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

its a shame that nz cricket never progress's much they show fight then seem to fizzle out,

they have a huge amount of talent, but ipl,, and other league's money have made it so that the players can say good bye to the international team and pocket huge money, come on NZ for your own sake get together and play good quality cricket

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

He still deserved a chance. Yes, he did.

Posted by Clyde on (December 8, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

I must be lacking in knowledge of behind the scenes. It seems bizarre that so much notice is taken of a coach. I don't remember even the name of Bradman's coach.

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

How truthful are you in all this mate?!?!? your preformance under Ross said it all and you knew for a fact that whatever the outcome you had your place in the XI waiting for your time... not good Baz not good...

Posted by   on (December 8, 2012, 6:39 GMT)

Brendon McCullum should have never accepted the captaincy and should have supported Ross taylor as the captain. Now that he has accepted the captaincy with both hands in couple of days time and showing support for Rossiee .. thts just show off. No need to show your support now Mr.McCullum.

Rossie fan from PAKISTAN

Posted by yetigoat on (December 8, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

Now McCullum can completely get his way and never have to keep in the short forms of the game. It's a pity his record as a batsman is not as good as is "sometimes" ability suggests

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