: New Zealand cricket chiefs issued a public apology to axed captain Ross Taylor on Wednesday as a weakened Black Caps side prepared to depart for South Africa without the in-form batsman.

Taylor opted to sit out the tour of South Africa after being replaced as skipper by opener Brendon McCullum last Friday, leaving a gaping hole in the New Zealand batting line-up as the side faces the world’s top-ranked Test team.

The axing also exposed deep divisions within New Zealand cricketing circles and provoked a backlash against administrators over Taylor’s treatment.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chairman Chris Moller acknowledged the issue could have been handled better, but stood by the decision to appoint McCullum and said there would be no sackings at the organisation.

“The board has reviewed all aspects of the captaincy issue and wishes to publicly place on record its apologies to Ross Taylor and his family for the manner in which events have unfolded,” Moller told reporters.— AFP

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