Will the Captaincy Saga ever be over? That is the question many followers of New Zealand cricket must now be pondering. Hostilities have broken out again, after simmering beneath the surface for a few weeks. This time it is McCullum who has gone on the attack, threatening legal action against Joseph Parker, who wrote a report critical of the handling of Ross Taylor’s removal from the captaincy.
The question here is what possible gain any party has in the continuation of this fight. The motivation behind the Parker report is obvious, he is concerned about how NZC is running the game and feels he and his associates must speak out. Parker is, of course, entitled to his opinion, but the merits of it are neither here nor there. He has no power, and the ex players and other figures backing him have largely chosen to not make waves on his behalf.
McCullum’s actions have now given the Parker report fresh oxygen. Given that he is worried about public perception and feels slandered, surely the worst thing to do is to use the heavy hand of the law to silence Parker. McCullum would have been far better served by giving an interview on the subject to a sympathetic journalist, and then letting his personal popularity counteracting any claims made by Parker. By using legal threats, he isn’t making himself look any better. By dragging this through the courts, he will only end up reminding people repeatedly of what was said.
And speaking of journalists, will they ever run out of material from this story? Cricket columnists up and down the country will be thrilled that their subject material for next week has arrived so neatly in their inbox. Probably the week after that too. What will be next? Will Taylor too decide to lawyer up? Will Joseph Parker counter-sue? Only time will tell. One thing for sure though is that there will be more to this story. If anything has been shown throughout this debacle, nobody involved in cricket in New Zealand knows how to shut up and get on with their job.