New Zealand in England 2013 May 2, 2013

McCullum, Taylor leave IPL early

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and his predecessor Ross Taylor have been released early by their IPL franchises and will join the tour of England ahead of schedule.

Neither player has had much involvement in the IPL with McCullum playing one match for Kolkata Knight Riders, after recovering from the hamstring injury he picked up in the final Test against England in Auckland, and although Ross Taylor has appeared five times for Pune Warriors he has made just 63 runs at a strike-rate under 100.

McCullum is due to arrive in England on Friday so could yet be available for the opening tour match against Derbyshire, which starts on Saturday, while Taylor is expected over the weekend. Both players were previously set to arrive shortly before the match against England Lions at Grace Road next week. Kane Williamson was due to the lead the team in McCullum's absence.

New Zealand players have an agreed five-week window where they can appear at the IPL and when Mike Hesson, the coach, was asked about missing two senior players for the start of the trip he even sought to see it in a positive way. "I'm actually quite happy with it because with a squad of 15 it's quite hard to get everyone a game," he said.

It has become a feature of the May Test series in England, which clashes with the IPL, that senior players from the visiting team have arrived late. It has previously happened with Sri Lanka and West Indies, leaving them precious little time to adjust to the conditions.

McCullum, who took over the captaincy from Taylor late last year, had a productive series against England in March, but Taylor struggled for fluency on his return after opting out of the South Africa tour following the loss of the leadership. During a radio interview after the visit of England he said that he was still not entirely comfortable back in the set-up.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 4, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    Good 4 newzealand... Hope for a good series.

  • Steve on May 4, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster- Agree with you that Taylor has been "insignificant", but McCullum? He had one game! He has 500 runs+ more than any other player in T20 International cricket and has an international average basically the same as Chris Gayle. I note while Gayle averages 54 in your "quality" competition, he only averages 35 in internationals. Further, in the 100's of T20 internationals there has only been 7 centuries scored (of which McCullum has 2), while in your "quality" competition there has been 3 scored in the past month and 6 scores in the 90's. McCullum's problem with KKR this year is that he wasn't an all-rounder (e.g Kallis), wasn't staying for the whole competition (e.g. Morgan) and is isn't a spinner (e.g. Narine) which ruled him out of all home games due to the nature of the pitch. To call McCullum a passenger is a bit harsh and shows a lack of cricketing knowledge.

  • Steve on May 4, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    Wonderful news, the IPL as a cricketing spectacle is great, but the bowlers are club standard in a lot of cases and it is not a good preparation for test cricket. The best thing to do is to get them playing in English conditions against good bowling attacks as quickly as possible.

  • nitin on May 4, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    haha......cant stop laughing.... i guess the teams will miss these players who they never played

  • Dummy4 on May 4, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    so are we still expecting mcculum to bat 6 but hav williamson as captain and possibly a brownlie 4 and latham/guptil 5

  • Jon on May 3, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @ Cpt.Meanster - the fact that you see the IPL as being more important than test cricket confirms that you are out of touch with how genuine cricket fans (not to mention the players) feel about T20. The IPL is not a popular competition outside of India, at least not in my experience. I dont know anyone that watches it, or follows it. The games are live on SKY (usually in the middle of the night) but the highlights and scores are rarely shown as part of the sports news here in NZ, which proves how little we care. I think you'll find its the same the world over.

  • vikram on May 3, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    i suppose that SL players are not ready for that kind of sacrifice for their country.Nation needs to be first,bt it seems that SL players have forgotten that and they will stay so much longer as possible and raise large amount of money,although they are under performing in ipl(thats a shame thing to say).

  • Jay on May 3, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    @shane-oh: Well, the ECB are thinking that they can use county cricket to keep their players away from the IPL. On the other hand, the IPL is going from strength to strength without English players and is easily the world's BEST T20 competition. Adding to that, this year's season has been QUALITY all through. More talk has been about cricket, the teams, the players rather than other stories which will only put the league in good stead for years to come. Some naive user here claims the IPL will vanish away soon which is laughable. It's TEST cricket that will eventually disappear in the next decade. Mark my words. There is nothing in that format to entice new fans of the sport or people in other countries. Only T20 cricket can globalize the sport truly and every test cricket cheerleader knows this which is why they continue to look down upon the game's best format.

  • Jay on May 3, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    @landl47: Which is exactly the OPPOSITE feeling for me. 7 to 8 months of BORING, DULL, and unimaginative cricket. It will be like sitting on burning coal as far as I am concerned. Test cricket as I know it is a pain but talk about back to back Ashes. It is overkill and will speed up the death of tests contrary to what many people think. So I guess I should be happy then but still, the coming 7 to 8 months will be a torrid time for me.

  • Jay on May 3, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    The fact is BOTH these players were insignificant for their respective franchises. The clubs did not need them and hence let them go. Any sensible person could realize that. It's not as if these players are giving a high importance to an irrelevant series against England. Had they been on form and fitness, I bet they would have stayed behind for their teams and earned their pay. The fact the IPL has been a QUALITY tournament this year is due to the hard work and perseverance shown by MOST players to win games for their teams. Which is why all the teams should get rid of a few players who are nothing more than mere 'passengers'. Go on Ross and McCullum, hope you enjoy the rain in England.