McCullum opens up on Taylor fallout

Published March 23, 2020
Taylor apparently tried to keep McCullum from becoming captain. — AP/File
Taylor apparently tried to keep McCullum from becoming captain. — AP/File

WELLINGTON: Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has opened up on his fallout with longtime team-mate Ross Taylor.

Speaking in an interview on Sky Sports Podcast, McCullum — now the head coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders — recalled that New Zealand Cricket (NZC)’s decision to implement a public process to elect New Zealand’s new captain after Daniel Vettori decided to step down from the role, in which Taylor pipped him to get the job, created tensions between the two cricketers.

“That’s exactly what it was, shocking. And it put some pressure on my friendship and relationship with Ross. I have a lot of development and under-age cricket with Ross. I was the captain of the under-19 team and Taylor was my vice-captain. We’ve always got on really well,” the former wicket-keeper/batsman said.

“We had to go for an interview for the job. It was about presenting the map for the future of New Zealand cricket to a panel. I don’t really know what we were doing. If I had my time, I would’ve said ‘No I’m not going to come and go through the process, you appoint Ross as captain and then we’ll see what unfolds from there’”, he added. “It’s a bad stain for New Zealand cricket and put pressure on Ross and me. Then it led me to eventually take over the captaincy from Ross.”

Taylor was appointed the captain in 2011 but he did not get along well with the then head coach, Mike Hesson. After a Test series in Sri Lanka, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Taylor was removed as the national side captain, with McCullum getting the job. The former Black Caps star said that Taylor was asked if he would prefer a split-captaincy option with McCullum, but he had refused.

“I was asked if I wanted to take over the role of New Zealand captain in all three formats. So initially, I told them I would get back to them. I needed to think long and hard thought it. I knew it would be a major controversial decision. I knew it could have major ramifications on NZ Cricket, but also on my time as a player. I sat down with my wife, and said ‘you are the best equipped to do it, if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, but you’re the best equipped to do it’. So I gave them a call, and said I would do it,” McCullum said.

“Ross had turned down the Test captaincy role. I don’t know what happened the time. There was a lot of controversy. New Zealand Cricket has moved on from that time now,” he said.

Speaking on his relations with Taylor now, McCullum added:“We are not best friends. I have immense amount of respect for him. He has lovely family, had a great career. He is at peace and content in his personal life. He has done really, really well.”

On being questioned about the SriLanka tour which led to the changing of the guard, McCullum said:“We played game differently. It was also noticeable that there was a bit of a divide between how Ross would want to play the game, and how Mike Hesson would like to coach the game. They were not getting on that well. I was having a pretty average tour with the bat. I was trying to lend a support to the leadership role.”

McCullum was known to be in good terms with the head coach, Hesson, and there were lot of media reports surfacing at the time that the New Zealand stalwart is trying to stay close to Hesson to try and lobby for the captaincy position. Addressing the same, McCullum said:“If you follow the reports, it was reported that I was lobbying to Mike for Ross’ position. I was very mindful of the fact that there is a process to go through. But I also knew that if this relation breaks down, then Mike may want me.”

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2020

Opinion

Good examples

Good examples

It is not impossible for female (or male) leaders to fulfil promises if they have the will and drive to do so.

Editorial

Democracy damaged
Updated 28 Feb, 2024

Democracy damaged

The reserved seats controversy could have been avoided had the ECP by now decided whether SIC deserves them or not.
Misplaced priorities
28 Feb, 2024

Misplaced priorities

THE federal government’s filing of a petition with the Supreme Court on Monday, seeking to overturn an Islamabad...
Killing jirgas
28 Feb, 2024

Killing jirgas

ANOTHER day and another chilling story unfolds in Kohistan. The jirga institution, declared illegal by the top ...
New funds
27 Feb, 2024

New funds

PAKISTAN plans to seek a new loan of $6bn from the IMF under its Extended Fund Facility for a period of three years,...
Missing link
27 Feb, 2024

Missing link

WITH most of Punjab and KP now accessible via motorways, which have greatly eased road travel for the bulk of the...
Tragedy averted
Updated 27 Feb, 2024

Tragedy averted

Pakistan must shed the layers of intolerance that have been allowed to permeate society.