Cricket: Parker issues apology to McCullum

John Parker. Photo / Derek Flynn
John Parker. Photo / Derek Flynn

Former New Zealand cricketer John Parker has apologised to Brendon McCullum, avoiding legal action from the Black Caps captain.

McCullum had threatened to sue Parker for defamation after comments in a report about the sacking of Ross Taylor as New Zealand skipper.

In the document, Parker stated that McCullum knew of coach Mike Hesson's plan to remove Taylor as skipper.

But he's retracted that in a statement released this morning, saying he never intended it to mean that McCullum was involved in the process.

He's officially apologised to McCullum and retracted his comments.

In a statement issued by McCullum's lawyers Chapman Tripp and signed by Parker, it says: "John Parker's focus in preparing the document was on addressing shortcomings in governance at New Zealand cricket. However, in the document John Parker stated that Brendon McCullum knew of the coach Mike Hesson's movements all along according to certain players. John Parker did not intend this to mean that Brendon McCullum was involved in the decision to replace Ross Taylor as captain.

John Parker also made the point that Brendon McCullum had publicly announced in the week of 31 January 2013 that he had no knowledge of the decision regarding Ross Taylor.

"This left open an inference that could be drawn that Brendon McCullum was dishonest with the New Zealand public in his announcement and that was certainly not intended by John Parker in anyway. John Parker accepts that any such inference is not true.

"In the document, John Parker made a number of other statements about Brendon McCullum which could be read to have implied that he had at times put his interests ahead of his team's interests.

"John Parker did not intend to discredit Brendon McCullum and sincerely apologises to him for any harm to his reputation which may have been caused.

"Both John Parker and Brendon McCullum have examined and resolved their differences successfully, and no legal proceedings by either party will occur.''

Papers were due to be filed with the High Court in Hamilton on Monday. McCullum instructed his lawyer Garth Gallaway of Chapman Tripp to threaten legal action unless a suitable apology and retraction was issued.

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,'' McCullum said in a statement last week. "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 was paying for the case and was 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.
The Parker movement's main aim was 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.

- NewstalkZB/APNZ

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