You have to hand it to Ross Taylor; he knows how to control the message. But today’s outburst, particularly in relation to not being allowed to play in a Big Bash match on New Year’s Day, seems disappointingly misplaced.
There are two rules or protocols in place.
A Non Objection Certificate is something a player needs to obtain from his member board in order to play in an overseas domestic competition. Over the last few weeks Guptill, Munro and Sodhi have obtained these for a portion of the season when they would not be playing for, or preparing to play for, New Zealand.
Then there are play-travel-player protocols as agreed between NZC and NZCPA; remember those negotiations took a while. They are in place to protect players from injury caused by unreasonable travel and scheduling demands.
In this case Taylor wanted to drive from New Plymouth to Auckland following a Super Smash game, fly to Melbourne the following morning, then play that night.
Each case is examined on its own merits in conjunction with NZC’s High Performance team and the Players’ Association. But flying internationally and playing on the same day is a complete no-no.
Sharp eyed readers might note that Tom Blundell played on consecutive days, and at different venues last weekend but that involved a road trip which is far less onerous (breaks and stretches) and Blundell is not a key test player with most of the international summer ahead of him.
Taylor is 32 and has a recent history of missing matches due to injury. He is vital to New Zealand’s performance over the next couple of months, and it would be remiss of his employers not to look after him.
Rules, especially those negotiated between different parties, are there for a reason and in this case it is there to protest the welfare of the player, rather than looking for a quick buck.
The whole thing is bizarre really. He admitted he wouldn’t have been fit to play anyway.