Cricket: Taylor launches media blitz as captaincy saga continues

By Kris Shannon

Ross Taylor. Photo / Getty Images
Ross Taylor. Photo / Getty Images

Ross Taylor has continued a media offensive against Mike Hesson and New Zealand Cricket, showing an aggression usually reserved for the batting crease.

Riding a wave of public goodwill following his removal as captain in favour of Brendon McCullum, Taylor has launched a PR blitz a politician would be proud of.

He kept his counsel as speculation swirled last week but, once Hesson and NZC chief executive David White had had their says, Taylor has told his side of the story and has even stated his belief someone within NZC has been bending the truth.

About the only person who has kept quiet throughout this whole saga is NZC chairman Chris Moller, and several calls to him today weren't returned.

But Taylor did enough talking for everyone, disputing NZC's version of the events that led to him being replaced as Black Caps' skipper.

At the now-infamous meeting in Galle before the first test against Sri Lanka, Hesson has said he told Taylor his stewardship was being reviewed.

But Taylor said on Radio Sport this morning he was told he wasn't up to scratch as a leader, and that message was confirmed in a one-on-one meeting the next day with Hesson.

"[Hesson] said 'Ross, I am going to recommend to [NZC director of cricket] John Buchanan that we have a new captain for South Africa'. There was nothing in there about anything to do with a split captaincy," Taylor said.

"He said I wasn't a good enough leader, that this team needs a strong leader, and that I wasn't a strong leader. If I wasn't a strong leader why would he give me the test captaincy?"

Taylor said Hesson rang him with the offer of the test captaincy a week ago.

Asked by interviewer Brendan Telfer whether someone within NZC was lying, Taylor said: "Definitely."

But Taylor wasn't done there, taking a couple more shots at Hesson in an interview with RadioLive. Having held the test captaincy for a year by the time Hesson was appointed as coach in July, Taylor thought the combination of such an inexperienced pair meant "it probably wasn't a good relationship". Regardless of that belief, Taylor said he did try.

"I gave [Hesson] as much support as captain and I don't think that was reciprocated."

While Taylor and Hesson enjoyed a prickly relationship, it was well-known the former Otago coach was much more connected with Taylor's replacement. But Taylor revealed Hesson's fondness for McCullum's leadership skills extended to the wicketkeeper's older brother Nathan.

In the second ODI against Sri Lanka, with Brendon McCullum injured and Taylor laid low by a vomiting bug, captain and coach clashed over who would assume leadership duties should Taylor succumb to his illness.

"I mentioned Kane Williamson should be captain if I wasn't there and Mike Hesson said Nathan McCullum would be captain. I did my best to stay out on the field."

Taylor said he hadn't been in contact with NZC since last week and, given his own communication skills as skipper were called into question, he thought the organisation's efforts in that area were "interesting".

Taylor has been communicating rather well the last few days, and said getting his gripes of his chest was cathartic.

"I'm cooling down. It's nice to tell my side of the story and the events from my point of view. As I've said, I still love playing for my country, and hopefully it's not too long before I do that."

- APNZ

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