The New Zealand Cricket (NZC), who has lost Ross Taylor as their captain, could now also be shorn of their best batsman for their upcoming South Africa tour and beyond.
According to reports, Taylor will decline an offer to split the captaincy duties with Brendon McCullum when he meets NZC chief executive David White in Auckland today.
That will clear the way for McCullum to be confirmed as skipper when the test and Twenty20 teams to tour South Africa are named tomorrow, and Taylor looks increasingly unlikely to be on the plane when the team departs for South Africa next week.
Sources close to Taylor claim he is shattered, in desperate need of a break from cricket and is seriously considering his future, Stuff.co.nz reports.
The stresses of recent months took a huge toll on Taylor, who has a young family and is still dealing with the recent death of his grandmother, with whom he was close.
Taylor's working relationship with coach Mike Hesson was again described as untenable on Wednesday.
NZC's director of cricket John Buchanan is understood to be a Taylor backer.
The test captaincy appears to be an olive branch, particularly after Taylor's man-of-the-match performance in the 167-run win over Sri Lanka in Colombo last week.
The NZC board, which rubber-stamped Taylor's ascent to the top job in June last year, approved the new split-captaincy proposal on Tuesday.
Taylor feels no animosity towards McCullum or his teammates, but feels undermined and hung out to dry by the Black Caps management, particularly Hesson whose friendship with McCullum has been the elephant in the room since the coach succeeded John Wright in August. (ANI)