New Zealand in SA
Hesson accused of sabotage
Wellington - New Zealand bowling coach Shane Bond believed his boss "sabotaged" former captain Ross Taylor and was dishonest about his role in the sacking, reports said on Friday.
Head coach Mike Hesson axed Taylor in favour of Brendon McCullum last December, sparking an outcry in New Zealand cricketing circles that eventually led to officials publicly apologising for the ex-skipper's treatment.
At the time, Hesson insisted he had offered Taylor a compromise option of retaining the limited overs captaincy, a version of events disputed by the player, who sat out the Black Caps' tour of South Africa in protest.
In a leaked letter to New Zealand Cricket (NZC) published by the Radio Sport network on Friday, Bond said Hesson had made no compromise offer to Taylor and never had any intention of splitting the Test and limited overs captaincy.
"I believe the coach has been dishonest in his assertion around the miscommunication of the captaincy split with Ross... it was clear to me that Ross Taylor was to be removed as captain from all three formats," said the letter.
Bond also accused Hesson of setting out to undermine Taylor by telling him of his impending demotion just before New Zealand began a two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
"I stated (to Hesson) that the timing was completely inappropriate and he had most likely affected the ability of the captain to perform and it seemed like sabotage," he said in the letter, which was reportedly written last month.
The revelations are an unwelcome distraction for the New Zealand team as they prepare to host England next month, seeking to bounce back from a humiliating Test series loss to South Africa.
NZC chief executive David White acknowledged his organisation had received Bond's letter but said the former paceman's recollection of events was different to those of other members of the management team.
"We found considerable variance with Shane's account in the assessments given to us by the other members of the senior management team," he said in a statement.
"After much investigation NZC's final conclusion is that the problems that arose over the captaincy issue were the result of misunderstanding and poor communication between the parties involved."
White said NZC wanted to move on from the row and focus on improving the team with McCullum at the helm.
"At this point it now serves no useful purpose for NZC to dwell on who may have said what to whom or make any further comment on such speculation," he said.
In remarks released through NZC, Bond denied there was a rift with Hesson and said the pair were working well together in South Africa, where the Black Caps are wrapping up their tour with a one-day series.
"I met with Mike Hesson several weeks ago, we have discussed the content of the letter, and put it behind us," he said.