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

Mark Richardson: Pointing the finger futile


Everyone loves a good 'whodunnit' but, quite frankly, I've had enough of this 'he said, she said.'

Yes, there have been some wrongs done. Yes, there has been miscommunication. Yes, there has been a right royal shambles created but, for the game of cricket in this country to be ripped apart by it's so-called fans just for the sake of getting to the bottom of a perceived cover-up is short sighted and irresponsible.

So some new information comes to light and that information comes in the form of the very reputable Shane Bond formally expressing his concern for the poor handling of the demotion of Ross Taylor and an accusation of a cover- up by the Black Caps' administration.

But where has this left us? Back where we damn well started in a 'who do you believe?' and 'whose side are you on?' kerfuffle.

If New Zealand Cricket have lied to me, so what? If they have tried to cover up their mistake in the way they demoted Taylor, so what? All right, if that is the case then I can understand Taylor's reaction and he is quite justified in feeling miffed because his credibility has been unfairly attacked.

But as for us, well, can we all just get over ourselves?

How often do we really get the truth from a sporting organisation about anything really and can you blame them for wanting to soften the blow for themselves following a mistake, which the timing of Taylor's demotion clearly was.

Why do they have to be transparent? New Zealand Cricket is not the Government, for goodness sake. Have they mismanaged public funds? No, they have mismanaged a player.

What should we therefore expect from NZC? Better on-field performance now and into the future, that's all.

Without a doubt they need to smooth things over with Ross Taylor because he is highly important to the success of the Black Caps. How they do that given Taylor feels he's been undermined and NZC believe otherwise? I don't really know but, quite frankly, I'm happy for them to find that way without 'fessing up to anything and leaving me still in the dark over what was said in the infamous meeting in Sri Lanka.

For the good of cricket in this country do I really need to know who's telling the truth here? No, I don't...

The bottom line is a call has been made by those charged with making that call. The coach, backed by the board, decided to make a captaincy change. The process was botched and there may still be some further fall-out to come from that but personally all I'm interested in is whether or not Brendon McCullum can lift the fortunes of this cricket side.

I don't expect to be advised of everything NZC is up to. But if they continue to under-perform on the field I want answers, not explanations. Oh, and if things continue as they are, I want change.

- 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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