McCullum plans lawsuit over cricket captaincy saga allegations

By Kris Shannon, Andrew Alderson

Brendon McCullum. Photo / Getty Images
Brendon McCullum. Photo / Getty Images

Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum is set to sue former New Zealand player John Parker over a document related to the Ross Taylor cricket captaincy saga.

Unless an 11th-hour retraction and public apology is issued, McCullum is expected to sue over allegations listed in material released publicly. Papers are set to be filed with the Hamilton High Court on Monday.

McCullum instructed his lawyer Garth Gallaway of Chapman Tripp to threaten legal action unless a suitable apology and retraction was issued.

The initial deadline was missed. Some redrafting and elaboration of the first effort is understood to have been requested to specifically deal with material in the report called "The Taylor Affair" which McCullum believed was false.

McCullum, who is in India with the Kolkata Knight Riders, said he had no option but to take legal action.

"Mr Parker's paper makes some very serious attacks on my integrity, my honesty and my ethics as a professional sportsman. I have endeavoured to resolve these issues with Mr Parker but have been unable to do so. He has left me with no choice but to defend myself and my reputation this way."

McCullum is paying for the case and is not seeking monetary damages.

"I simply want his (Parker's) acknowledgment that the claims he makes are completely false."

Coach Mike Hesson has also instructed lawyers to threaten legal action. When contacted he said: "The matter is in the hands of my lawyers. I have no further comment."

Mr Gallaway said: "I believe Brendon has acted honourably in seeking a retraction over the last two weeks but it has not been forthcoming." Parker's lawyer and fellow director in The Sport Management and Training Group, John Wiltshire could not be reached for comment. Parker, who played 36 tests between 1973 and 1980, is in the Middle East on business.

Any legal action issued by McCullum and Hesson is expected to target the original recipients of the allegations and anyone, including media, who published, forwarded or broadcast it.

The Parker movement's main aim has always been to gain more influence on the New Zealand Cricket board for former players. Until past national representatives Ian Smith and Mark Greatbatch officially came forward, Parker had been alone in being prepared to attach his name to the group. That came undone with the release of "The Taylor Affair" and an email trail earlier this month.

As many as possible of the more than 20 names on Parker's email list were contacted.

Almost to a person they either did not return calls, did not want to be named, claimed to be part of the email chain but didn't have input into the report, or had unsuccessfully requested to be removed from future correspondence.

There can be no doubting Parker's passion for the game and his intentions regarding a board which has struggled with the Taylor saga.

Parker this month said he wanted the focus to be on governance rather than it becoming "a Ross Taylor vs Brendon McCullum issue".

"It's wider than that. That was just meant to be an example of poor governance ... We're focusing on the revamped constitution and the appointment of good board members."

- NZ Herald

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