Recently appointed New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum says he is 'highly insulted' that people think he had anything to do with Ross Taylor being stripped of the captaincy, saying he had no idea he would be asked to fill the role in all formats.
Taylor was stripped of the proverbial armband after the tour to Sri Lanka, but only for the limited-overs sides, but he then decided to give up the Test captaincy as well. He also removed himself from the upcoming tour to South Africa, saying he needed a break from the game.
Speculation then arose that McCullum had played a part in the discussions, given that he and Taylor had been in the running to take over the job a year ago and then latter cracked the nod, but he furiously denied this.
An irate McCullum told a press conference: "That's probably the thing that has come out this week which has annoyed me the most.
"It cuts right to the bone, that people would question your integrity and your character like that. To be totally honest, it's highly insulting for people to cast aspersions when they certainly don't know any of the circumstances.
"I had absolutely no involvement in that recommendation whatsoever. I was asked if I would lead the one-day and Twenty20 team two days ago, and yesterday I was asked if I'd lead the Test team after Ross turned it down. That's about as much involvement as I've had in the entire situation."
McCullum expressed empathy for his former skipper, and praised him for dealing with the fall-out of the decisions, adding: "I thought he did a very good job yesterday in the media of being able to deal with some tough circumstances.
"Ross is an integral member of this team, he's vitally important for us increasing our performances and he's also a very popular member of the team as well, so there are a lot of guys who will be feeling for him at the moment. We'll welcome him back when he's good and ready."
The public reaction, both from the media and the Black Caps fans, has not been positive, with the vast majority taking Taylor's side in the affair, and McCullum conceded that they would need to work hard to regain that support ahead of the tour to SA.
He continued: "They're obviously not very good circumstances at all. It's obviously been a pretty trying time all week for all parties involved. I guess from my point of view I've now got a job to do, to make sure we get on a plane and try and win some more games of cricket.
"There are many different areas we need to improve on but ultimately it's got to end up with winning. There will be no stone unturned in trying to work out what the right way forward is.
"I'm not going to sit here and tell you that we're going to go out there and beat South Africa in every single every game but we're going to work extremely hard as a group. I've got some thoughts which are probably best kept for the players but it's going to be incredibly tough."