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New Zealand players may play IPL even if it clashes with first England Test – NZC

New Zealand Cricket has indicated that it may not block its players from fully participating in the upcoming Indian Premier League if the knockout matches of the lucrative league clash with the Test series opener in England beginning on June 2, according to a report.

Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner and Tim Seifert are bound for IPL and they could be joined by several team-mates, including first timer Kyle Jamieson who has enjoyed a fruitful year in international cricket.

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The IPL is likely to start in the second week of April and its knockout matches may happen in early June. With the announcement coming only last month, New Zealand’s first Test of the England series, starting on June 2, is not included in the World Test Championships. With the team having already qualified for the WTC finals, IPL participation may be allowed.

‘Pragmatic approach’

“NZC will take a pragmatic approach as these fixtures are a late addition to the schedule. We will work through the decision in conjunction with the players,” NZC chief executive David White told stuff.co.nz when asked about the prospect of the New Zealand’s players missing the first Test against England.

According to the report, NZC will send a larger-than-usual squad to England to safeguard against the risk of injury or illness.

 

The Kiwis have never missed a Test match for the IPL. The last three England tours in 2008, 2013 and 2015 saw the IPL contingent arrive just days before the first Test.

The players may need to enter bio-secure bubbles from mid-to-late March, which means they could miss the three Bangladesh T20 internationals on March 28, 30 and April 1, and potentially the preceding three ODIs (March 20-26).

White said NZC is yet to confirm when members of the New Zealand contingent would need to join their IPL franchises next month but has assured that everything will be done according to MIQ protocols.

Stuff.co.nz also reported that the IPL-bound New Zealand players may miss the matches of the limited-overs tour of Bangladesh.

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