McCullum disappointed, but firmly behind Taylor
Brendon McCullum has admitted he was disappointed to miss out on the role of New Zealand captain - which went to Ross Taylor - but said Taylor had his full support and their friendship was strong enough to avoid any rivalry.
McCullum and Taylor were in contention to take over from Daniel Vettori as New Zealand captain, but Taylor's prolific record as a batsman during his stint as stand-in captain played a major part in him being given a full-time role.
"Obviously I was disappointed to miss out on something that I desperately wanted but ultimately you've got to move on and I do wish Ross all the best and I definitely support him along that journey," McCullum told Radio Sport. "I had my opportunity to to present my case and to show what I thought was the way forward for New Zealand Cricket and ultimately they decided to go another route and you can't argue with that.
"We're good enough mates as well to overcome any differences this process may have thrown up."
McCullum, 29, who also plays for Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the IPL, said it took him a day to let the news sink in but stressed that his main priority was to play for New Zealand and he looked forward to doing that for at least another five years. "Inside the first 24 hours when you suffer that disappointment you go through a range of different emotions and different thoughts. It took me about 24 hours for everything to come clear and that I have a huge opportunity to contribute to this team.
"It is still for me about playing for my country. It always has been. There may be a misconception out there that I'm not like that but I'm incredibly passionate about playing for my country and that will never change. Whilst I may have opportunities to play elsewhere during my times off, New Zealand cricket is my priority and I'm excited by what the next five years could throw up for me."
McCullum was willing to deputise for Taylor as vice-captain, but didn't think the role was necessary. "I want to be the vice-captain of the New Zealand team and the fact that Ross is captain doesn't change anything... I still wonder whether the team needs a vice-captain but if that is what is determined then absolutely, because that's always been the case is that you do whatever is required for the team.
"Maybe we don't need a vice-captain. If we're serious about growing a leadership group within the environment and within the team then you wonder if there is a natural pathway." New Zealand's next international assignment is in September-October when they tour Zimbabwe, and it is unlikely a vice-captain will be announced before then.
John Wright, the New Zealand head coach, who was part of the three-member panel - director of cricket in New Zealand John Buchanan and acting national selection manager Mark Greatbatch being the others - said he wanted McCullum to consider taking over the vice-captaincy, and hoped he'd be able to sort out any issues with Taylor with "total honesty."
"I hope that Brendon will be involved. I want him to stick his hand up and I hope that he wants to consider the role of vice captaincy but that's something a little bit further down the line," Wright said. "When you're coaching a cricket team you don't only need a captain but a strong leadership group, and that's really the combination of your senior players.
"We've got to sit down together in a room and sort through those issues with total honesty. And really if you want to be an international cricket team that is winning at the top level you've got to be able to sort those things out - and I'm sure we'll achieve that."