Andrew Alderson

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

Cricket: Station punished for asking sensitive questions

David White.  Photo / Getty Images
David White. Photo / Getty Images

Cricket broadcasting rights partners Radio Sport and New Zealand Cricket have been in a stand-off this week over a line of questioning in a controversial interview.

Drive host D'Arcy Waldegrave pre-recorded an interview with New Zealand assistant coach Bob Carter on Wednesday after the third test draw against England.

Waldegrave had agreed with an NZC request that he not ask questions about deposed captain Ross Taylor's post-match comments that he wasn't as comfortable as he would like to be within the team or about Carter's apology to Taylor, reported in various media outlets this week.

NZC decided that chief executive David White was the only spokesperson for all Taylor-based issues.

However, station boss Matt Hunt was not prepared to agree to such terms and authorised Waldegrave to go ahead with the interview, asking the sensitive questions.

NZC at that stage responded by imposing a punishment on the station.

There is a discrepancy over what that involved.

Radio Sport understood it to be that no cricketers would be available to interview for a week.

Hunt subsequently sent a note to staff along those lines. NZC claimed the punishment extended only until today's final of the Ford Trophy.

Whatever the situation, an edited version of the interview aired the following day. Radio Sport said they postponed it a day because the Drive show clashed with the live broad-cast of the Ford Trophy preliminary final between Canterbury and Jesse Ryder's Wellington in Christchurch on Wednesday.

Initially White (through a NZC spokesperson) did not want to speak to the Herald on Sunday about the matter but relented early yesterday afternoon.

He responded by saying: "This is an issue between Radio Sport and New Zealand Cricket. We don't want to elaborate further."

Hunt said: "We're disappointed a situation like this came about. There's no way a news media organisation should be muzzled by a sporting body."

This is not the first time NZC has clashed over editorial judgement with its radio broadcast partner this summer.

Legal advice was sought by Radio Sport after the governing body heard breakfast host Tony Veitch was about to broadcast Shane Bond's letter (to NZC) regarding the captaincy saga. After an initial delay, the letter's contents were eventually broadcast.

Radio Sport is in the stable of official NZC commercial partner, The Radio Network.

- Herald on Sunday

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