Mark Richardson is a former Black Cap and current columnist for the Herald on Sunday

Mark Richardson: Timing a bit off with Parker and Co


The only reason I can come up with regarding the motivation for John Parker and Co to go public with their document on the Taylor affair is fear.

Fear that the popular performance by the Black Caps against England will scupper their desire for change.

So for that reason, I can understand why they would feel the need to re-table that which was pretty much known, or universally assumed, by the cricket public.

A creditable performance against England should not be enough for New Zealand Cricket to think everything is okay and neither should we, the fans. Picking the scab that had begun to heal over the Taylor affair was the best way to redirect thinking.

Was it right to reignite the scrap via the public forum? In my opinion it was not. However, maybe it was unavoidable if this group really wanted to be heard.

There is no denying the vocal majority is a negative minority and those who will vocally represent the public will turn against the administration and - as has been proven time and again - they will turn on Brendon McCullum.

It is no surprise to me the chosen place to launch the attack was with the radio host harshest on cricket in this country. So mission accomplished ... here we go again.

Maybe this had to be done. NZC's and David White's aggression in response, the immature media ban following a media partner's apparent disobedience, and the way in which the initial press conference about the Taylor affair was handled, suggests an organisation that feels it has nothing to answer for.

This should scare any cricket fan because things have not been great for some time and one good performance does not change that. However, that one performance has highlighted a really important convention ... timing is everything.

You would think Parker and his band of merry men, ready to take over the governance of cricket in this country with their cricketing experience, would understand the importance of good timing.

By coming out so soon after the England series, they've overlooked the fact that on-field performance is king. They have attacked against a turning tide of goodwill generated by McCullum's strong showing.

They should have waited till after the upcoming England tour and, had that tour returned poor results, they would be attacking on a fair wind and going with the tide of support.

But what if the Black Caps perform well in England? Banish the thought - because that would suggest the bottom line is actually improving and it would not be just a one-off performance.

But would that suggest the end justifies the means when it comes to the changing of the Black Caps leadership?

No, change is most definitely needed, but it's a change in attitude by overly sensitive players, defensive administration and overly egotistical former players.

As a footnote to all this, does anyone think that if McCullum was to leave the IPL early and join the team he now leads in England on time, it could just be about the best damn PR move he could make right now?

- Herald on Sunday

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Mark Richardson is a former Black Cap and current columnist for the Herald on Sunday

Mark Hunter Richardson represented New Zealand in 38 Tests from 2000-2004 racking up an impressive 2,776 runs with an average of 44.7. The former Black Cap began his cricketing career as a left-arm spinner but soon realised that his talents lay with the bat. The transition from ball to bat was seamless and Richardson soon made his international debut against Zimbabwe at the age of 29. Known as a stalwart opener, Richardson’s intelligent style of hard-grind batting came at the perfect time for New Zealand cricket and provided much-needed stability for the Black Caps. Apart from being an excellent opening batsman, Mark Richardson was well-known among fans and team mates for his humorous off-pitch antics and friendly interactions with the famous Beige Brigade, with whom he formed a strong relationship. An excellent cricketer with a personable quality, Richardson once remarked that his retiring first-class average was only different to that of Sir Donald Bradman by a decimal point. Mark Richardson retired from all forms of the game in 2004 and continues to write an insightful, thought-provoking column for the New Zealand Herald.

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