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McCullum loses vice-captaincy

Brendon McCullum top-edges a six AFP

Brendon McCullum has been stripped of his role as vice-captain of New Zealand. The move is effective immediately, but no replacement has yet been appointed. New Zealand Cricket's chief executive Justin Vaughan suggested the decision was intended to enable McCullum to concentrate on his form with the bat. "Brendon being Brendon, he will lead," Vaughan was quoted as saying in the Herald on Sunday. "That's his nature. At the moment he needs to be focusing on several areas but primarily that is around fulfilling his potential with the bat."

McCullum, though disappointed, said captaining New Zealand still remained one of his major objectives. "It's disappointing, obviously, in many respects but the fact is I can now concentrate on my roles of scoring runs and keeping wickets," he told Herald on Sunday. "I still have some fairly big goals I want to achieve for New Zealand, including the captaincy, and this has not changed that."

McCullum has averaged 32.55 in nine innings in Tests this year, but his performance in ODIs has been below-par. He averages 26.10 with just two half-centuries in 20 innings.

New Zealand, on Saturday, lost the services of coach Andy Moles, who resigned less than a year into his tenure, following a review of the team's performance in recent months.