Cricket great Crowe's fiery protest

By Dylan Cleaver, Andrew Alderson

Martin Crowe burned the jacket so "he would never be tempted to wear it again", a source told the Herald. Photo / Getty Images
Martin Crowe burned the jacket so "he would never be tempted to wear it again", a source told the Herald. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand's greatest batsman, Martin Crowe, is understood to have set fire to his New Zealand cricket blazer in protest at the demotion of Ross Taylor as captain.

Crowe, a mentor and vocal advocate of Taylor, wrote a pained column on cricinfo.com the day it became official that Taylor had been stripped of the one-day and Twenty20 captaincies and had turned down the offer to continue as test captain.

But it seems Crowe's very public baring of his soul was followed by a fiery ritual he now wants to keep private.

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox retweeted a message from Crowe's @MartinCrowe299 account: "Burnt NZ cricket blazer Dec 7, 2012. RIP."

Crowe's account has since been deleted, along with the tweet. Fox's retweet is also no longer on Twitter.

A source told the Herald that Crowe, a former NZ captain, had destroyed the blazer so "he would never be tempted to wear it again".

Crowe, however, was not keen to elaborate. "With respect ... no comment now or ever," he texted.

His support for Taylor during the messy episode, which resulted in a partial mea culpa from NZC chair Chris Moller and CEO David White in Wellington yesterday, has been unequivocal.

In his Cricinfo column he wrote: "Over the last week NZC destroyed the soul of Ross Taylor, easily our best player. They have apparently apologised for the way his sacking from the captaincy was handled. Nevertheless they have amputated his spirit and there is no prosthetic for that.

"And yet NZC goes unaccountable. They continue to strip the worth from players and, therefore, as an organisation, they have definitely become worthless.

"The leadership has been poor in the past, but the fish head couldn't smell any worse now.

"From the chairman to the CEO to the coach to the manager, they have all played their collective part in what is arguably the most botched administration in New Zealand sporting history."

Crowe, 50, had recently been employed as a batting talent scout for NZ Cricket, but quit that position in the wake of the Taylor affair.

Mr White pointed out that Crowe resigned on November 30, before the captaincy situation played out in the media.

The elegant right-hander, who averaged 45.36 runs in test cricket and holds the New Zealand record for most centuries (17), has enjoyed something of a love-hate affair with NZ Cricket for several years.

In April last year, he resigned from the newly established cricket committee, set up to advise the NZ Cricket board on cricket matters, citing conflicts of interest.

In October, Crowe revealed he was suffering from lymphoma.

- NZ Herald

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