New Zealand news July 26, 2009

Players could put IPL ahead of country - Vettori

Cricinfo staff

New Zealand cricketers may choose to play in the lucrative IPL instead of their country in the future if the Twenty20 tournament's schedule clashes with their international commitments, Daniel Vettori has said.

On Friday, six senior New Zealand players signed their national contracts after two weeks of "agonising" over whether to forgo them. They could now miss out on half their earning from next year's IPL because it coincides with their home series against Australia.

"It's a difficult decision and people have families and other issues to work through but our priority was to play for New Zealand," Vettori told the Herald on Sunday. "But we realise that if these situations continue to come up it will be difficult for players to continue to turn down the money, so we implore the powers that be to (find a solution) so we don't have to make these decisions every year."

The trans-Tasman battle is one of New Zealand's marquee series, and Vettori said players might have chosen differently if it had been a lower-profile opposition. "If Bangladesh were here [rather than Australia] it might have been an easier decision for players. It didn't come into my thinking because my priority is to play for New Zealand."

Former Australian legspinner Shane Warne and Federation of International Cricketers' Associations chief executive Tim May are among those who have called for the creation of a window in the international cricket calendar for the IPL.

Last year, five senior New Zealand cricketers including Vettori and Brendon McCullum had arrived in England a week after the rest of the touring party so that they could appear in more IPL matches. In a similar incident, West Indies captain Chris Gayle came in for plenty of criticism earlier this year when he reached England just two days before the first Test.