Indian Test cricket stars to get warm-up games in New Zealand

March 2nd, 2009 - 7:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Wellington, Mar.2 (ANI): Six Indian Test specialists will get match practice over the next fortnight to prepare themselves for playing conditions in New Zealand. Four first-class sides in New Zealand will have an Indian player for the next round of the State Championship on Friday, and two not. The two other Indians will play the following week, for yet-to-be-determined teams. To most people, that constitutes an uneven playing field, not to mention an undermining of the competition, but there were no complaints last night. Vaughan had planned to release all the details today, only for Indian team manager Niranjan Shah to jump the gun. But the mild-mannered NZC boss wasn”t complaining and neither was he admitting that India were playing the bullyboy with all their demands. “If we had insisted the major associations take out their overseas players to accommodate the Indian players then you could accuse us of dancing to India’’s tune but they did not do that,” Vaughan said. “We said we only have four spots available because we have two sides with overseas players and they were happy to make do with that.” The human side of Vaughan admitted that it was “eerily spooky” that Auckland happened to be playing Northern in the next round so the playing field remained level. With the help of John Wright who has consulted the provincial chief executives, the Indian test specialists have been allocated as follows: VVS Laxman to Otago, who host Wellington, who get paceman Laxmipathi Balaji; and Rahul Dravid to Canterbury, who host Central Districts (legspinner Amit Mishra). Wellington chief executive Gavin Larsen said his preference would have been for the Indians to get match practice away from the State Championship but he realized it couldn”t happen. He also realised Vaughan had promised the Indians a quality buildup for agreeing to a third test. (ANI)

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