NEW ZEALAND cricket captain Ross Taylor was asked to quit by coach Mike Hesson before the recent drawn test series in Sri Lanka.
According to The Dominion Post newspaper, Hesson made the request before the Black Caps‘ first test defeat in Galle.
Taylor refused, but it showed how far the pair’s relationship had deteriorated during a run of poor results.
Taylor remained in charge, but it is expected Brendon McCullum will replace Taylor in the hot seat by the end of the week ahead of the tour to South Africa.
Chief executive of New Zealand Cricket, David White, hardly shot down the speculation when contacted.
“No decisions have been made. We’re still half way through a full review of all aspects of the [Sri Lanka] tour and once we complete that review then we’ll provide information,” he said.
Asked about Hesson offering Taylor the chance to step down, White said: “That’s speculation and I’m not prepared to talk about speculation.”
The captaincy of the team has been under discussion since Hesson replaced John Wright in August.
Hesson and McCullum are close from their Otago days, and Taylor quizzed Hesson at their first meeting.
It is thought Taylor felt isolated during the Sri Lanka tour and sought advice from trusted figures outside the team.
Taylor was asked upon returning to New Zealand whether he was confident of keeping the captaincy.
“There’s a review after every tour and I can’t control what’s said in that meeting. I’m just glad to be home and whatever comes from that, comes from that,” he said.
Taylor has struggled to communicate a clear message to the team, and he is not a visible leader.
McCullum isn’t experienced as captain, but is a natural leader.