Wellington: The board of New Zealand Cricket apologised to Ross Taylor on Wednesday for the way in which he was fired as national captain, but ruled out his reinstatement.
Chairman Chris Moller made the apology at a news conference in Wellington, breaking his silence on an issue which has left Taylor embittered and has alienated New Zealand fans. Moller said the NZC board met for five hours on Monday with head coach Mike Hesson who is widely seen to have bungled the firing of Taylor and the appointment of Brendon McCullum as his replacement.
Taylor has refused to make himself available for New Zealand's forthcoming tour to South Africa, depriving the team of its best batsman as it prepares to face the world's No. 1 Test side.
Moller apologised to Taylor and his family for the way in which his firing had been handled and for the media storm that followed. But he said the board, which unanimously endorsed Taylor's appointment as national captain after the resignation of Daniel Vettori, now supported his successor, McCullum.
"The board remains of the view that it took the correct decision to support the captaincy change as recommended by the CEO and by the coach," Moller said.
"The board fully understands Ross Taylor's reasons for not going to South Africa and sincerely hopes that as are current best batsman, Ross will be available for the English tour [of New Zealand] this summer."
Taylor has given a number of media interviews since his firing last week in which he has questioned Hesson's and New Zealand Cricket's version of his dismissal. Hesson says Taylor was asked during New Zealand's tour to Sri Lanka last month to remain as Test captain but to concede the captaincy of the one-day and Twenty20 teams to McCullum.
Taylor said he was not offered the Test captaincy and Hesson had made it clear he was to be replaced in all forms of the game.
"He said I wasn't a good enough leader, that this team needs a strong leader and that I wasn't a strong leader," Taylor said. "If I wasn't a strong leader why would he give me the Test captaincy?"
Meanwhile, McCullum says his personal relationship with Taylor remains strong.
"I have spoken to him. Private conversations, but I have spoken to him," McCullum said. "Obviously he needs a bit of space at the moment. My thoughts and the team's thoughts are with him."