Five New Zealand players to miss England tour for IPL involvement
Thursday, 27 March 2008

Sports corrospondent

New Zealand Cricket are expected to confirm today the five players contracted to an Indian Twenty20 competition will miss the first two games of the forthcoming tour of England.

The tour starts with a one-dayer against an MCC XI at Arundel on April 27, followed by a three-dayer against Kent at Canterbury, beginning the next day.

The five players signed up for the Indian Premier League, captain Daniel Vettori, vice-captain Brendon McCullum, allrounder Jacob Oram, batsman Ross Taylor and seamer Kyle Mills will rejoin the New Zealand side for their two games leading up to the first test at Lord's, which starts on May 15.

Their preparation for the first test will be games against Essex at Chelmsford and England A at Southampton. There will be question marks over Oram and Mills, who had to pull out of this week's third test against England. Oram has a hip injury, Mills a small tear in a calf. How quickly they recover will determine their involvement in the IPL, with the test tour their priority.

Two other New Zealand players, Stephen Fleming and Scott Styris, have retired from test cricket and will be available for the entire IPL for their franchises, Chennai and Hyderabad respectively.

Ideally, the test quintet would have arrived in England for the start of the tour, but New Zealand Cricket will likely view the outcome of discussions as a workable compromise.

The five are likely to be able to play about four games for their Indian teams before heading to England.
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