Missing New Zealand’s test tour to England to fulfill Indian Premier League commitments is not the ‘favorite thing’ for skipper Kane Williamson, who will see how the situation unfolds before making a decision.
The IPL will likely start in the second week of April and its knockout matches could stretch into early June, potentially clashing with New Zealand’s first test in England, which kicks off on June 2 at Lord’s.
“It’s definitely not the favorite thing,” said Williamson as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“I know when plans were put in place it wasn’t the idea at the time, but as we’ve seen you can make plans around this time and they very rarely go as planned. .
“For us it’s being able to adapt as quickly as possible. We still have to wait and see when the dates are finalized to really know what happens before a decision is made, but the ideal scenario is to be available and nearby for all that cricket, “Williamson added.
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The two test matches against England were announced last month and are not part of the World Test Championship.
However, the series will be played just before the WTC final, starting June 18, for which New Zealand has already qualified.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” Williamson said.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have indicated that they cannot prevent their players from fully participating in the IPL even if the league’s lucrative knockout matches collide with the Test Series.
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Earlier this week, NZC chief executive David White said boards “would take a pragmatic approach as these meetings are a late addition to the schedule.” Top players like Williamson, stimulators Trent Boult, Lockie Fergusen and Kyle Jamieson, who became the highest-paid New Zealander in IPL 2021 and the fourth in IPL’s 14-year history, will likely stick with their franchises.
Although the NZC have given free rein to their participation in the league, New Zealand cricketers have yet to miss a tryout match for the IPL. The last three tours in England in 2008, 2013 and 2015 saw the IPL contingent arrive a few days before the first test.
However, even if the dates don’t clash, players can still miss out on matches due to COVID-19 quarantine protocols.