Black Caps to miss start in England

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Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Five of New Zealand’s highest-profile players, including captain Brendon McCullum, are set to miss the start of this summer’s tour to England because of the Indian Premier League.

McCullum, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Corey Anderson are among nine players likely to be chosen for the tour who will be in action at the IPL and are scheduled to arrive in England just two days before the first Test at Lord’s.

The Kiwis may therefore have to field depleted shadow teams for two four-day warm-up fixtures against Somerset and Worcestershire.

The IPL runs for six-and-a-half weeks, with the final on May 24 – three days after the start of the England-New Zealand series.

A New Zealand Cricket spokesman explained the situation to The Dominion Post, which also reported no solution for an updated schedule could be agreed after discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The NZC spokesman said: “Clearly it is not ideal preparation for us.

“But the bottom line is some of our players have the chance to participate in the IPL – and in order to be picked up, we had to allow them a playing window.

“If we had truncated that it would have reduced their marketability.

“They can earn money in the IPL that we can’t contemplate paying them.

“But it was important to us, and important to them, that they don’t miss any internationals – so we came up with an arrangement that they were all back in time to play in the first Test.”

New Zealand still hope some of those contracted to IPL franchises, but not being picked to play, might yet be free to travel to England earlier.

The spokesman added: “The make-up of our team for the warm-up matches will be a combination of Test squad players, IPL players out early and players in England with other responsibilities, be that county cricket or league cricket.”

The full-strength availability of touring teams is an ongoing issue, in the IPL era, at the start of English summers.

Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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