The monetary pull of the Indian Premier League has hit another international assignment. The latest casualty is the one-day leg of New Zealand’s June-July tour of the West Indies.
New Zealand were originally scheduled to tour the Caribbean for a five-game ODI series, apart from the two T20Is and three Tests that remain on track.
The original schedule would have meant the tour having to commence in May for it to end before the Caribbean Premier League, which is likely to be held before Bangladesh visit the West Indies in August, shortly after the Kiwis leave.
A May start was planned but that would have interfered with the players’ participation in the IPL, which runs from April 16 to June 1. The tour is now slated to be played between June 8 to July 6.
“We (both the boards) decided not to have the ODIs on the tour so that players from both sides can play the IPL. We did not want to interfere in the players’ participation,” Imran Khan, the West Indies Cricket Board’s media officer, told HT
New Zealand Cricket head of operations, Lindsay Crocker, told a local radio station that the idea was to allow the players to maximise their earnings.
West Indies legend Michael Holding slammed the officials involved for giving the domestic league preference over an international assignment.
Holding claimed such a development was only to be expected because of the kind of control the BCCI exerts on world cricket.
“I have been beating my head against a wall for many years and it’s resulted in a headache and basically wasting of my time. I have left it to those who should have the power to take action although they don’t,” Holding told HT over email.
“There was no doubt over the IPL being accommodated because the WICB have been bought hook line and sinker by the BCCI!”
Eight Caribbean players and six New Zealanders are contracted to the IPL teams. Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Smith, Andre Russell and Samuel Badree from the West Indies and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee and Matt Henry.