One message was clear at New Zealand Cricket's new Auckland headquarters regarding Ross Taylor's shock loss of the captaincy and subsequent omission from the tour to South Africa.
Coach Mike Hesson is apparently solely responsible for hatching the whole plan.
This is scarcely believable. How could one man who has been in charge for two test tours and the World T20 possibly command such executive powers.
Certainly he must take some accountability. Under the current structure he is ultimately responsible for the team's performance. Yet more fingerprints must be somewhere near this crime scene. If we can be flippant for a moment: maybe they were wearing gloves...
What many forget is Taylor's captaincy was already under scrutiny before Hesson took over but it seems the former Otago coach who is regularly referred to as having "no test experience" and who has patronisingly been called "a boy" in some media is going to take the rap regardless.
Chief executive David White pointed out relentlessly that he wanted to front the media on his return from Dubai. A public relations disaster, of which it is hard to conjure up a suitable New Zealand sporting comparison, has built in his absence.
The timing is appalling with Taylor leading the team to victory in Colombo.
White produced a candidate for Understatement Of The Year in relation to the decision. "Not ideal," he said. "It was purely down to coach feedback."
White said Taylor had been offered the chance to stay on as test skipper. He tried to claim Taylor hadn't been "stripped" of the captaincy as a result, until it was pointed out he was going to lose the 50-over and 20-over components to Brendon McCullum. McCullum will now assume the entire role.
White again looked somewhat ambitiously into his crystal ball when assessing Taylor's prospects of playing England when they tour: "No doubt," he asserted.By Andrew Alderson Email Andrew