Christchurch: Legendary all-rounder Richard Hadlee has lashed out at Stephen Fleming in his new book, accusing the former New Zealand captain of arm-twisting coaches and selectors to get things done.
In his book, Changing Pace: A Memoir, Hadlee said Fleming was influential to the point of rendering the coach redundant.
"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," Hadlee wrote in the book which hit the stands on Sunday.
According to Hadlee, Fleming relied heavily on Steve Rixon soon after becoming the coach, while Rixon's successors David Trist and Denis Aberhart were more than happy to take the backseat, The Sunday Star Times reported.
"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," Hadlee observed.
The former all-rounder felt Fleming had a "mixed" relationship with John Bracewell, who had a five-year stint with the team from 2003.
"They were both strong personalities with clear ideas about how to move the team forward. Initially, they developed a wonderful and successful relationship, but that may have soured towards the end of Stephen's career.
"Perhaps Stephen felt he was being undermined by Bracewell and the selectors. There was a huge shift from the selectors in terms of wanting more from the players in both personal and team performances," Hadlee said.
According to him, Fleming favoured some players ahead of others and pushed for their selection.