New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has admitted that the clash between the Test series vs England and Indian Premier League 2021 is certainly not his preferred option but he wants to see how things unfold in the next few months.
The Indian Premier League 2021 (IPL 2021) season is set to commence sometime in April this year, i.e. immediately after the conclusion of the ongoing India vs England series. While the tournament will conclude sometime in June, its finishing stages are set to clash with New Zealand’s upcoming Test tour to England. The Black Caps are slated to tour England two weeks in advance before their Test series, in order to adhere to their local quarantine norms.
As things stand, many of New Zealand’s high-profile cricketers including Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Lockie Ferguson are likely to stay with their IPL franchises in keeping with New Zealand Cricket’s policy of giving its national cricketers a free rein to play in the T20 tournament.
“It’s certainly not the preferred thing,” Williamson said of the situation. “I know when plans were put in place that wasn’t the idea then, but as we’ve seen, you can make plans in this day in age and very rarely do they go to plan.
“For us it’s being able to adapt as quickly as possible, we still have to wait and see when dates are finalized to truly know what is happening before any decision is made but the ideal scenario is to be available and around for all that cricket. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
“They’ll definitely be looking forward to getting out of quarantine. It’s a necessity, but not something you choose to do,” Williamson said. “We know we’re up against very strong opposition in Australia. Whatever Australian team is put out is strong. They do have the majority of their consistent T20 side there, with also the opportunity of bringing in a lot of talented youngsters they do have.”
“There’s still plenty of big names, as there always are. The depth in Australian cricket is something that’s always noted. A number of their newer look players have had a lot of experience playing in other [T20] competitions around the world as well, so we know they’re a very strong side.”
Williamson and Co. have their attention turned to the T20 format, where they’ve won just two of the nine games against in the Trans-Tasman rivalry. This being the T20 WC year, the series assumes significant importance.
“Every series you play is an opportunity to grow as an aside. We have the T20 WCs which are kind of in the back of your mind… It’s great to see the talent that is around [in New Zealand]. It’s nice to see the team growing. We always want to improve and that is a focus for us. We always know against Australia it’s a great opportunity to do that.”