Sunday, October 25, 2009

McCullum stripped of vice-captaincy

New Zealand will be without a vice-captain and a coach when the squad leave for their limited-over series against Pakistan.

Just a day after the resignation of coach Andy Moles, wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum has confirmed he has been stripped of the role as Daniel Vettori's number two with no replacement being appointed.

"It's disappointing, obviously, in many respects," he told the Herald on Sunday. "But the fact is I can now concentrate on my roles of scoring runs and keeping wickets.
"I still have some fairly big goals I want to achieve for New Zealand, including the captaincy, and this has not changed that."

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said a decision had been made that there was no need for a second-in-charge and instead they want to see senior players such as Kyle Mills, Shane Bond and Jacob Oram taking a more active leadership role.
"Brendon being Brendon, he will lead," Vaughan said. "That's his nature. At the moment he needs to be focusing on several areas but primarily that is around fulfilling his potential with the bat."

It appears no one incident sparked the decision to demote McCullum but he has been in the headlines this southern hemisphere winter, which looks to have done him no favours.

He was the player focused on when the story broke that six players had delayed signing their New Zealand Cricket contracts until they received clarity around how much of the Indian Premier League they would miss as it clashed with Australia's tour of New Zealand.

He was also the player singled out by IPL commissioner Lalit Modi as one trying to "exploit a loophole" despite the fact Vettori, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor all delayed signing.

That loophole has now been closed so that international players who are playing as free agents without a national contract must also get a no-objection certificate from their home cricket board.

New Zealand leave on Tuesday for three one-day internationals (Abu Dhabi) and two Twenty20s (Dubai) against Pakistan.

The two teams then return to New Zealand for a three-Test series.

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