Hadlee says Fleming overshadowed coaches and selectors

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Wellington, July 27 (ANI): In his latest memoir, former New Zealand fast bowler Richard Hadlee has disclosed how former captain Stephen Fleming became so influential at one point of time that he started to manipulate both selectors and coaches to get what he wanted.

"If we selectors had a criticism, it was that at times Stephen tended to overshadow and almost downgraded the profile and role of the coach," stuff.co.nz quoted Hadlee, as writing in 'Changing Pace: A Memoir.'

Hadlee recounts that Fleming came to the captaincy under Steve Rixon on whom he "relied heavily". The next coach David Trist "was happy to see Stephen assume the major focus as leader" but when Denis Aberhart took over, he took a backseat to Fleming.

"Stephen did not rate Denis as a coach, probably because Denis had never been an international player.

Stephen, who was quite confident of his abilities as a captain at that stage of his career, gave me the impression that he was able to manipulate situations to his own advantage, especially with regards to selections and where he wanted to bat," he wrote.

Hadlee suggests there was substance to the oft-rumoured rift between Fleming and Aberhart's successor, John Bracewell.

"I suspect the relationship between John Bracewell and Stephen was mixed. Perhaps Stephen felt he was being undermined by Bracewell and the selectors..

Perhaps Stephen felt interference when losing some of his right-hand men. After all, these were friends he'd come to rely on before they were dropped," Hadlee says.

Hadlee said the selectors also believed Fleming allowed his judgement to become clouded over certain players.

"We asked Stephen for his thoughts as often as possible but we felt that he had a tendency to favour some players ahead of others and could be reluctant to discuss or accept other points of view. Indeed, at times he was almost dismissive of other points of view."

Fleming was eventually, and unceremoniously, removed from the captaincy in his last season.

Hadlee also criticised the peer assessment part of the programme, saying it was a waste of money and instead of being in meetings; players should have been practising their skills "which is our biggest weakness". (ANI)

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