New Zealand allrounder amazed at his IPL worth February 21, 2008

Playing for New Zealand is No.1 priority: Oram

Cricinfo staff

Jacob Oram is a bit overawed at how a price was put on his value by anonymous business interests © Getty Images

Jacob Oram, trying to figure out just how his worth was perceived to be $US675,000 for the Indian Premier League's Chennai franchise, the Super Kings, says his priority is still with New Zealand. While he was very excited to be a part of the inaugural Twenty20 tournament, whose eight teams were finalised in a much-hyped auction in Mumbai yesterday, Oram remained unsure about the extent of his participation.

The 44-day competition, starting on April 18, clashes with New Zealand's tour of England and Oram was waiting for details to be worked through with New Zealand Cricket. "Playing for New Zealand and the English tour is priority No.1," he told the website

"It is massive money they are throwing around and the IPL have stated that this is here to stay and everything around the IPL has just been out of the top drawer so while it is going to be great opportunity and experience to be part of it for me No.1 is still going to be to go back and play for New Zealand."

"I'll need warm-ups in England. I'll need preparation that is the same as for other tours which is to get myself right for Test matches which is every cricketers' No.1 goal."

Oram said that his view was shared by Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum, who have also been snapped up by IPL franchises. "I don't want to get into a situation where I turn up two or three days before the Lord's Test and have egg on my face because I'm not prepared for a Test match because they are two totally different games.

"I would need to prepare as I would any other Test match which means I get overs under my belt and time at the crease," he said. ""It changes your life and security for us for the future and family, if that comes around, so it is a massive shift in my whole life."

Oram, who will be play alongside the likes of Stephen Fleming, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Muttiah Muralitharan, Matthew Hayden, Albie Morkel, Makhaya Ntini and Michael Hussey for Chennai, felt the atmosphere in the dressing room would be something to look forward to.

"I've never been in a situation where that sort of money is being thrown around or talked about and to be right in the mix of it is quite surreal...and pleasant," he said. "We were just sitting at the hotel having a few beers celebrating Jamie's [How's] wonderful knock, the wonderful game that it was.

"We were getting second-hand information through friends and family. When I first head it I didn't want to believe it until I saw it for myself in black and white on the internet and when I saw that it took my breath away to be honest."