New Zealand cricketers need periodic breaks - Justin Vaughan
Justin Vaughan, New Zealand cricket's chief executive, has acknowledged the rigours of a hectic schedule for the national team and suggested adding more flexibility to the country's international commitments by providing breaks to players. He added that starting from the ICC World Twenty20 in April and May this year, the New Zealand team could be involved in a "cricket environment" for 300 days until the same time next year.
"They will hardly get any time at home, and yes, they are well-paid but they have wives and families - and a lot of this team have very young families - and we have to be able to manage that so our key players are available as much as possible," Vaughan told the Sunday Star Times. "The players need breaks from time to time and that's something we're keen to accommodate. We cannot ignore the fact that there's so much cricket, so if they need a break then we have to manage that."
When asked if NZC could adopt the rugby union model of providing sabbaticals to its leading players, Vaughan said: "We're not quite the same as the rugby union. But we need to be able to work around the opportunities players face, as well as accepting they need breaks from time to time."
The board will be issuing central contracts for the 2010-11 season and could face the possibility of some players, who are also involved in the IPL, opting out and playing on a freelance basis. Vaughan said he had spoken to Brendon McCullum, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders, in this regard. "We've had some chats with Brendon, who has had a lot of cricket, and we're committed to having a chat to him this winter to get a gauge on what is the right thing to do."
Six players last year had been granted an extension to sign their contracts due to an overlap between the IPL this year and Australia's ongoing tour of New Zealand. Each of the six - Daniel Vettori, McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor - signed the contracts and confirmed their availability for national duty.