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In New Zealand, IPL a slow starter

india Updated: Apr 14, 2012 00:11 IST
Shalabh Manocha

The Indian Premier League may be half-a-decade old and considered the most successful T20 league in the world. But it is yet to take wings in the land of the Kiwis.

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, who plays for the Delhi Daredevils and joined the team after missing the first three games due to a fractured hand, said, "Very few know about the IPL back home."

A couple of days back, England batsman and Taylor's team-mate, Kevin Pietersen, had sparked a controversy when he said that there was jealousy back home when it came to the success of the IPL.

Lacking connect
However, Taylor said that despite playing in the league since its inception, hardly anyone in New Zealand knew which team he played for.

"In these five years, I have played for three teams but not many would know this fact back home. People are amazed when I tell them that Indians are crazy about the IPL?" Taylor added.

Taylor attributes the lack of popularity in New Zealand to the fact that cricket is a summer sport. "Cricket in our country is still not the number one sport; it's just a summer sport. Also, the time when the matches are played here, people are fast asleep there, so this general disconnect," he said.

Taylor is optimistic that live telecast of the tournament from this year onwards will boost the league's popularity in his home country. "Till now, there was only live streaming on the web, so not much enthusiasm. This time around, the games are being telecast live. Hopefully, a couple of years down the line, they will know a lot more about the IPL."

Taylor, who was with the Rajasthan Royals last year, believes the IPL gives overseas players good exposure to sub-continental conditions. He said he was 95% fit and would give his all against the Mumbai Indians on Monday.