Decks cleared for Dravid & Co.
India’s Test specialists will take part in New Zealand’s domestic competition but only for teams that have no ICL players on their rolls, reports Anand Vasu.Updated: Mar 01, 2009 23:09 IST
India’s Test specialists will take part in New Zealand’s domestic competition but only for teams that have no ICL players on their rolls.
Rahul Dravid will play for the Canterbury Wizards in Rangiora against the Central Stags, who will have Amit Mishra in their ranks. VVS Laxman (Otago Volts) will have to face up to Lakshmipathy Balaji (Wellington Firebirds) at Dunedin. The matches will be played from March 6-9.
In the next round, starting March 13, Dhawal Kulkarni and M. Vijay will feature in the Stags and Firebirds clash at Napier, with the player allocation among the teams to be decided at a later date.
Auckland Aces and Northern Knights have ICL players in their ranks and hence none of the Indian players will represent them. Shane Bond and Chris Harris are contracted to the Canterbury Wizards but only for T20 cricket. “There have been a number of issues to work through, including the involvement of ICL players, NZC’s rules around overseas and qualifying players, player allocation, scheduling and travel arrangements,” said Justin Vaughan, CEO of New Zealand Cricket.
India coach, Gary Kirsten, welcomed the move, “Because of the tight schedule and no warm up match, it would have been difficult for those players straight off the plane. I think it sets a good example.”
NZC cracks the whip
NZC has decided to take no chances after the bottle-throwing incident during the second T20 match at Wellington on Friday. For the remaining matches, there will be a ‘buffer zone’ between the fans and playing field.
This means that the front few rows in the stands will be cordoned off and left empty. NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan made it clear that the authorities were left with no option but to take such measures.
“It’s unfortunate because it doesn’t look great and you like the fans to be able to get close to the players. But you can’t have that stuff (throwing of bottles). We know it’s not ideal, but we can’t have that happen again.”
The bottle-throwing events were the first during an international cricket match in New Zealand since something similar occurred in a match against Australia in 2005. At that time, Australian players had beer bottles, tennis and golf balls thrown at them.