Decision on IPL’s New Zealand cricketers next week

March 21st, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by admin  


Auckland, March 21 (IANS) A decision on five New Zealand cricketers who are scheduled to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also tour England with their national team next month is expected to be made next week. The third and final New Zealand-England Test starts in Napier Saturday and a decision on whether the five Kiwis who have been bought by IPL franchise owners will be allowed to join the national team late in England will be made after the Test.

The five players are captain Daniel Vettori, vice-captain Brendon McCullum, Jacob Oram, Ross Taylor and Kyle Mills.

An announcement had originally been expected before the third Test. But Vettori, who is to play for Delhi Daredevils, was quoted as saying on www.stuff.co.nz that a decision would now be taken next week.

Oram and Mills are injured. Speculation about the availability of the other three for the England tour has been rife since last month when they signed lucrative three-year deals with the International Cricket Council (ICC)-endorsed IPL Twenty20 competition.

The IPL starts April 18, nine days before New Zealand open their two-month England tour with a festival game in Arundel. The IPL tourney runs until the first week of June.

The IPL pays on a pro-rata basis, so New Zealand’s players want to play as many matches as possible for their franchises.

Vettori had previously touted May 5 as a reasonable date to arrive in England - 10 days before the first Test starts at Lord’s.

That would give the late arrivals a four-day game against England ‘A’ as their only preparation because they will miss first-class matches against Kent and Essex.

Meanwhile, Oram and Mills could be in danger of missing the IPL after injury ruled them out of the third Test.

Vettori said the pair might now miss the IPL because the priority was to be fit for an arduous tour of England which features three tests, five one-dayers plus Twenty20 and tour matches.

“We’ll have to see how they are in two weeks’ time,” Vettori said. “If they’re fit no problems but if they’re not then the New Zealand team is the priority. We have to make sure they’re fit for the England tour.”

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