NZ Herald Focus logo
FCM Travel logo

Ross Taylor not 'rushing out' to read Brendon McCullum's book Declared

By Dylan Cleaver

Ross Taylor is not "rushing out to find a copy" of Brendon McCullum's new book on the captaincy stoush that dominated New Zealand cricket in 2012.

New Zealand Cricket's manager of public affairs, Richard Boock, said Taylor was a "strong and independent character and an integral part of the Black Caps".

"At the moment he's concentrating all his energy and attention on playing for New Zealand and preparing for tonight's ODI.

"He's seen media reports; hasn't read the book, and is not really interested in rushing out to find a copy."

In relation to the book, which claims the first serious cracks appeared on a disastrous tour to the West Indies in 2012, Boock said everyone was entitled to their opinion.

"Equally, there are two sides to all stories. This is Brendon's book and we're not interested in judging it."

In the book Declared, which hit the shelves today, McCullum claims Ross Taylor, who beat him to the top job when Dan Vettori gave up the captaincy following the 2011 World Cup, was an uninspiring skipper and the team was on the point of imploding during his tenure.

McCullum said the trouble that would eventually engulf the team and drive a wedge between him and Taylor began on John Wright's last tour as national coach.

The former opener had indicated he was stepping aside, largely because he couldn't form a working relationship with director of cricket John Buchanan.

Brendon McCullum said Ross Taylor was an uninspiring skipper. Photo / File
Brendon McCullum said Ross Taylor was an uninspiring skipper. Photo / File

Read more:
Brendon McCullum - Declared excerpt: McCullum was smoking in toilets during semifinal win
Brendon McCullum: Chris Cairns trial like 'Chinese water torture'
Brendon McCullum on Chris Cairns: I want nothing more to do with him

McCullum recommended Australian Matthew Mott for the post and acted as his referee. He also knew his old Otago friend Mike Hesson had applied, but thought Mott presented a better opportunity to take the team forward.

Initially rested for the T20s and ODIs, McCullum was flown to the West Indies at short notice when Taylor was injured to lead the side. When he got there in time for the third he was told Kane Williamson would lead the side for the sake of continuity.

By the time the fourth ODI rolled around Taylor was fit again and McCullum's proposed captaincy never eventuated.

"Either Ross was highly resistant to my captaining the team and leant on Wrighty to change his mind, or it was just an organisational cock-up by Wrighty. The rest of the tour suggested the latter, because much of it was a shambles," McCullum writes.

McCullum was critical of Taylor's leadership on that difficult tour, saying Taylor stayed in his room when his players needed to see him, particularly with Wright's behaviour becoming "increasingly bizarre".

"If you wanted to talk to [Ross], you had to knock on his door.

"I don't think he consciously stayed in his room. I doubt he even thought about the fact that the players needed to see him... that they might need more from him. I don't think Ross had any idea what his leadership style was going to be."

Ross Taylor is not really interested in "rushing out to find a copy" of the book. Photo / File
Ross Taylor is not really interested in "rushing out to find a copy" of the book. Photo / File

Just before the first test of that tour, it was announced Hesson had got the job despite McCullum's spruiking for Mott.

"I was disappointed for Matthew, but felt... Hesson would bring skills and structure that would support Ross much better than Wrighty's approach."

New Zealand's tour didn't improve with the news from home. They were slaughtered in the two tests by a weak West Indian side.

"By that time, the team was on the verge of imploding," McCullum writes. "Players had got to the point where they just didn't care any more. It became about self-preservation. The captain and coach were completely uninspiring."

McCullum acknowledged that Wright's failings as coach put too much pressure on his teammate but said Taylor - who he said had been an excellent vice-captain - needed to know that captaincy was about more than scoring a truckload of runs and retiring to your room.

He suspects the news that his old friend had been appointed coach probably forced Taylor more into his shell, though he still felt Hesson's structures and organisational ability could bring the best out of Taylor's leadership.

"It had to work," McCullum writes. "I believed that Ross, with the power base behind in New Zealand Cricket and in the wider cricket community and the media, would never be sacked. He was impregnable. If results didn't imp[rove, Hesson would go, not Ross... if Hesson couldn't help Ross, [the Black Caps] were stuffed and I'd be gone too."

Captaincy saga timeline

2009: Brendon McCullum is dropped as vice-captain of the national team by coach Andy Moles.

2011: Ross Taylor is named as New Zealand captain in all three forms of the game, replacing Dan Vettori.

July 2012: Mike Hesson succeeds John Wright as national coach.

November 2012: During a tour of Sri Lanka, Hesson informs Taylor he will recommend leadership changes to NZ Cricket's board after the tour. He meant in white-ball cricket but he failed to convey that message clearly to Taylor.

December 2012: McCullum is named as the new national skipper in all three forms of the game. NZC say Taylor declined an offer to remain test captain. Amid fierce criticism of how it had handled the captaincy issue, NZC chairman Chris Moller apologises to Taylor but says no heads will roll over the affair.

March 2013: Former national captain John Parker reveals to Radio Sport that he and up to 40 other prominent past cricketers have prepared a dossier that proves Taylor was "done over" by McCullum, Hesson and NZC chief executive David White.

April 2013: McCullum says he will take legal action for defamation against Parker and others over their allegations. Parker apologises publicly and McCullum withdraws his legal action.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 26 Oct 2016 01:23:36 Processing Time: 66ms