Dropping of Germon should have been delayed

Elmo Rodrigopulle Reporting From New Zealand

6 March 1997

GISBORNE, Wednesday

While Sri Lanka go into the first Test with only two days of cricket on Friday, New Zealand cricket is on the rapids with the dumping of skipper Lee Germon.

The consensus here is that Germon's dumping should have been delayed considering that he shone as wicket-keeper in the final one-dayer against England which the Kiwis won to square the series.

When Germon took the field he was under tremendous pressure to keep his captaincy. However he came out well with two catches and two stumpings and most felt he had done enough to hold the slot.

But apparently his failure to score once again would have tilted the scales in favour of the young Stephen Flemming. Germon was lbw in this game and had the benefit of the doubt gone to him no one would have begrudged it. It was an arguable decision.

What added to his removal is that many here think that a wicketkeeper cannot and will not make a good captain. That is not good thinking.

A good captain is taken note of by his team winning. And with two victories in the two final one-dayers against England, Germon felt he had done enough to remain.

But then the selectors the world over act in mysterious ways. It was no different here.

Before the Test squad for Dunedin against Sri Lanka was announced and before the final one-dayer, Germon said that he was aware of the speculation about his future, and he said he had attempted to prevent it.

This is what Germon told 'The Dominion': ''I've tried to get on and do my job, which is to captain the side and do as well as I can on the park. It's difficult to brush those things aside but then you have to look at what my role is. At the moment it's to lead the side and keep and bat as well as I can. External influ- ences don't have a bearing on that''.

Ian Smith, the former Kiwi wicketkeeper batsman, said that Germon 'kept like a dream' in the final one-dayer.

New skipper Flemming was delighted with his appointment. His only tilt at captaincy was a losing the third Test against England when Germon was injured. When Flemming led in that Test he became the youngest New Zealand captain at 23 years and 318 days.

According to convenor of selectors Ross Dykes there was an expectation that Flemming would continue to also lead in the three one-dayers against Sri Lanka.

Germon has led New Zealand since the tour of India in 1995.

Dykes said: 'Over the last three weeks Germon has been showing the pressure, and who wouldn't have, with the amount being put on him by the news media'.

During the final one-dayers Police arrested 29 spectators and a further 36 were removed from the ground for drunken behaviour.

The axing of Germon closes another chapter in New Zealand's troubled cricket.

Source: The Daily News

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 15:00