Wellington: Brendon McCullum has been stripped of the vice-captaincy of the Black Caps, following the decision of New Zealand cricket authorities to make the position redundant.
The reasons for McCullum"s demotion are complicated, although no replacement will be appointed.
NZ Herald reports there is a suggestion that convenor of selectors Glenn Turner was uncomfortable with the power wielded by captain Daniel Vettori and McCullum, as witnessed by last week"s evisceration of coach Andy Moles.
Some sources suggest it was felt McCullum dominated the dressing room too much.
However, a well-placed source said McCullum was effectively sidelined from the decision-making process on the tour to Sri Lanka in August, and his role in Moles" downfall was overstated.
New Zealand Cricket"s Justin Vaughan said a decision was made that there was no absolute need for a second in charge.
Instead they want to see several senior players, like Kyle Mills, Shane Bond and Jacob Oram, take a more active leadership role.
“Brendon being Brendon, he will lead. That"s his nature. At the moment he needs to be focusing on several areas but primarily that is around fulfilling his potential with the bat," Vaughan said.
McCullum said when contacted by the Herald on Sunday: “It"s disappointing, obviously, in many respects but the fact is I can now concentrate on my roles of scoring runs and keeping wickets. I still have some fairly big goals I want to achieve for New Zealand, including the captaincy, and this has not changed that."
McCullum was seen as the natural heir apparent to Vettori, and was endorsed by the man himself in this newspaper back in January.