Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Cricket: NZC keeps fans guessing

Chris Moller (left) and David White have moved to dampen speculation over the captaincy saga. Photo / Getty Images
Chris Moller (left) and David White have moved to dampen speculation over the captaincy saga. Photo / Getty Images

Like a "whodunnit" with the crucial last page ripped out, New Zealand Cricket has sent fans on their annual summer breaks without knowing the contents of board chairman Chris Moller's "additional material" mentioned during the Ross Taylor captaincy saga.

The "additional material", which kept the issue in the public focus over a week longer than expected, appears to have been a dud lead. Moller referred to the material at the beginning of the statement he read at the December 11 press conference.

It now seems that NZC might have thought better about prolonging the issue. Certainly they are moving to dampen matters down.

The Herald on Sunday contacted both Moller and chief executive David White on Friday seeking clarification as to how the "additional material" came to nought. Voice messages were left with both.

White phoned back: "I want to stress that I am speaking to you on behalf of Chris and myself.

We've studied all the information, we have thoroughly looked into it and drawn a line under it. We believe it's a case of miscommunication and misunderstanding. We now want to ensure we're prepared and focused for the challenges ahead."

Moller texted back later, saying: "At my request David White has spoken to you on behalf of both of us because your questions are operational, not governance, matters. Chris"

In a press release last week, White said: "NZC believes it now serves no useful purpose to further rake over the events of the captaincy change. It is time to draw a line under the issue. We now need to focus on the tour of South Africa. "

Moller is understood to have sought legal advice on various media stories that have appeared about him in the wake of the Taylor captaincy axing.

However, even as the matter now begins to fade, the "additional material" episode still raises questions.

1. How did the information about Taylor's captaincy being under threat get back to New Zealand before the team arrived home. Where were the leaks?

2. Was anyone at NZC lying, as Taylor said they "definitely" were in a radio interview?

3. Why did Moller claim "no heads are going to roll" at his solitary press conference on the issue if the "additional material" was yet to be fully analysed?

It seems those will remain rhetorical questions for now, especially with White claiming in the press release: "We've already acknowledged mistakes were made on this issue and we have learned from those mistakes. Team management has given an undertaking to improve communication and to ensure nothing similar occurs again. The board and management of NZC make that same commitment."

Taylor remains a victim but no one has specifically been held accountable. As far as "whodunnits" go, this hasn't exactly been Agatha Christie.

- Herald on Sunday

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