Bond revealed that Hesson had never told him about his intention to split the captaincy
New Zealand bowling coach Shane Bond has reignited the captaincy saga that hit the national team hard, whereby captain Ross Taylor stepped down and handed over all his duties to batsman Brendon McCullum, by saying that “at no time” did coach Mike Hesson ever suggest splitting the captaincy.
In a letter sent to New Zealand Cricket (NZC), Bond stated that he had a healthy working relationship with Hesson, but admitted that the head coach had lied about his intention of always wanting to split the captaincy after the national team’s 1-1 draw against Sri Lanka.
Bond also stated that Hesson had never brought up the split captaincy issue during any of the talks they had.
“I believe the coach has been dishonest in his assertion around the miscommunication of the captaincy split with Ross,” Bond wrote in the letter. “At no time during my conversations with Mike Hesson, that mostly included [assistant coach] Bob Carter and/or the manager, was the captaincy split ever suggested. It was clear to me that Ross Taylor was to be removed as captain from all three formats.”
In the letter, Bond also wrote about his reaction after Hesson, Carter and team manager Mike Sandle told him that they had held a meeting with Taylor prior to the start of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle and informed him that he would no longer be leading the side at the end of the series.
“On arrival in Galle I bumped into Bob Carter in an open corridor where he informed me he’d just been in a meeting with Mike Sandle and Mike Hesson where the latter told Ross he was no longer wanted as captain,” Bond wrote. “Bob was clearly a little stunned and commented on how upset Ross was.
“I later bumped into Mike on the way to dinner. He informed me that he’d told Ross he was no longer wanted as captain. I stated that the timing was completely inappropriate and he had most likely affected the ability of the captain to perform and it seemed like sabotage.”
Despite losing the first Test badly, New Zealand managed to secure a win in the second Test, where Taylor led from the front with two brilliant scores of 142 and 74.
After returning home from the Sri Lanka tour, Hesson sat down with Taylor and explained that McCullum would be taking charge of the limited overs squads, while he retained his leadership position in the Test side.
Bond did not dispute anything in the letter, but noted that he and Hesson had moved on since it was leaked to the press.
“As has been outlined publicly, I wanted to share my views and opinion on the captaincy situation and did so in the form of a private letter to New Zealand Cricket,” Bond said. “I want to go on record saying that I met with Mike Hesson several weeks ago, we have discussed the content of the letter, and put it behind us.
“We have developed a good working relationship during this tour and are working closely together to make this team better. I want to keep working hard with the other support staff so we can improve the performance of the team. As far as I’m concerned we have dealt with the matter, it has been put behind us and I won’t be making any further comment.”
NZC chief executive David White revealed that Bond was just one of many team managers to report back to the board about the captaincy situation and the way in which it had been handled.
“Unfortunately his report was received by NZC late in the evening prior to the planned press conference scheduled for the following day and was the ‘additional material’ referred to by chairman Chris Moller,” White said. “We believed the content of Shane’s report to us merited further investigation over a longer period and we made extensive inquiries of team management.
“We found considerable variance with Shane’s account in the assessments given to us by the other members of the senior management team. 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.
“The important thing to recognise is that Shane wasn’t in the room at the time that the captaincy discussions were taking place. However, we have heard his concerns and have discussed them with him and the team management. Both Shane and NZC have now amicably resolved the issue.”