Wellington: Batting great Martin Crowe has burned his New Zealand Cricket (NZC) blazer in protest at Ross Taylor's sacking as the team captain, reports said on Thursday.
Crowe, widely hailed as New Zealand's best ever batsman, has been fiercely critical of last week's decision to drop Taylor in favour of Brendon McCullum in an effort to reinvigorate the misfiring Black Caps.
The New Zealand Herald reported that Crowe torched his prized blazer last Friday, when news of Taylor's demotion was made public. It said he tweeted "Burnt NZ cricket blazer Dec 7, 2012. RIP", adding that both the tweet and the account it was sent from had since been deleted.
The newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying Crowe destroyed the blazer "so he would never be tempted to wear it again". It reported the gesture was "the ultimate sign of disgust" from Crowe, a long-time Taylor supporter. Crowe declined to comment, the Herald reported.
The 50-year-old blasted NZC over the ousted skipper's treatment over the weekend in a column on cricketing website Cricinfo, saying it had "destroyed the soul of Ross Taylor". "They have amputated his spirit and there is no prosthetic for that," Crowe wrote.
NZC publicly apologised to Taylor on Wednesday over the way his demotion was handled but stood by the decision to replace him with McCullum after a string of disappointing results. Taylor opted to sit out New Zealand's upcoming tour of South Africa after being dumped as captain.