Cricket: Out of the shadows

By Dylan Cleaver

Hoped-for light at the end of the tunnel dimmed by mention of 'additional material'.

New Zealand Cricket Board chairman Chris Moller has much to reflect on before next year's special general meeting. Photo / NZPA
New Zealand Cricket Board chairman Chris Moller has much to reflect on before next year's special general meeting. Photo / NZPA

Three things emerged from yesterday's partial New Zealand Cricket mea culpa, each in their own way stunning developments.

First and foremost, the board of NZC have effectively disestablished themselves, something that has been almost lost in the hubbub over the Ross Taylor captaincy debacle. This is a remarkable and welcome change.

Second, Chris Moller and David White have no idea how to shut an issue down.

Third, the captaincy of the New Zealand cricket team has suddenly taken on an importance well beyond what it needs to be. In the long and not particularly glorious history of the game here we have had good, bad and indifferent captains. Now we can add martyred ones to that list.

To return to the board. They have done the right thing and, just as importantly, have put the ball in the court of all the doomsayers.

Moller yesterday said a special general meeting would be called next year and a new constitution ushered in. The board of seven - chairman Moller, Sir John Hansen, Greg Barclay, Therese Walsh, Stuart Heal, Bill Francis and Don Mackinnon - will almost certainly be disestablished and replaced by six elected and two appointed members.

All members would have to reapply for positions.

Moller is challenging the six major associations and past players to put their people where their mouths are. All those who have lamented the lack of playing expertise on the board now have a chance to put up or shut up. Some of New Zealand's greatest cricket minds have been happy to fire shots from afar, now is the time for them to put themselves in the firing line. That, as it turned out, was Moller's good turn for the day.

His apology to Taylor and his family regarding the appalling handling of the captaincy change should have been enough. To then say that "additional material" had come to light just opened the door for Mr Rumour and bedfellow Miss Speculation to wander in.

The Herald's understanding is that the "material" is most likely corroboration of Taylor's version of events in Sri Lanka, that the intention was to strip him of captaincy in all three forms of the game.

At this point, the only sensible response to that would be: So what?

Nobody disputes that Taylor was wronged, first by coach Mike Hesson and then a cowering administration. There was clearly a communication "disconnect" in the room that fateful day in Sri Lanka and Taylor's support crew might even be right that there has been a rather disingenuous attempt to rewrite history since.

The inescapable fact remains, however, that all we are talking about is a change of captaincy.

It's just happened at the Blues, albeit a lot more elegantly and it has happened not too long ago in England and Australia's cricket set-up.

Sometime, too, it will be decided that it is time to promote Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum, Taylor, or whomever happens to be leading the side, will be moved aside.

Captains and boardrooms change from time to time. In this instance, it's time to start talking less about former and more about the latter.

- NZ Herald

Your views

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 27 Dec 2014 23:42:18 Processing Time: 454ms