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Kane Williamson looks forward to IPL as he eases back into training

New Zealand captain expects organisers to speak to the players once proper plans are in place

James Neesham walks back to his bowling mark as Kane Williamson looks on, Mount Maunganui, July 22, 2020

James Neesham walks back to his bowling mark as Kane Williamson looks on  •  Getty Images

Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain and Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman, is waiting for more details about the delayed season of the IPL to come his way, saying "it would be great to play" the tournament in the UAE, but a lot of planning and organising still needs to be done "before any final decisions".
"By all accounts the IPL, they're looking to host that tournament which is a fantastic tournament to be a part of and attracts such an incredible audience," he said on the sidelines of a New Zealand training session at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Wednesday. "And throughout this time there's been a natural lack of content so there is a real drive to see that happen and see it happen safely, which is first and foremost. It's a shame to see the World Cup be postponed but I suppose it's the nature of what we're faced with in the current climate but exciting at the potential opportunity individually to see some cricket come on to the horizon. But I think a lot of people will be looking forward to that opportunity if at all it goes ahead safely.
"Like I said, considering what it actually looks like where it is and all the details that come with it, to play in the IPL is always an amazing thing so, absolutely, it will be great to play in it and be a part of it. But there's a lot of details to come through before any final decisions will be made. It will be nice to know more.
"They're looking at the best options to host it in a safe place where people can be quarantined much like you're seeing with other sports around the world. There's a lot of planning still to be done to make sure that happens"
"[There's] nothing concrete, with the postponement [of the T20 World Cup] announced only a day or two ago, no doubt there's a lot of organising that needs to be done or any sort of decision is made, and I guess they are wanting to make sure that things are planned before speaking to players with any certainty. Like a lot of things, even with the season ahead, there's a lot of speculation and hope for a lot of cricket, much like there's hope for the IPL to go ahead. But at this point in time it's sort of coming back after a break, easing back into cricket and hope that these things will happen."
The IPL, which was deferred earlier this year because of the Covid-19 situation in the country - and the world - will now be played in the window between September 26 and November 7 in the UAE after the scheduled men's T20 World Cup was postponed by a year. A formal announcement to this effect has not been made yet, with the IPL Governing Council waiting for the official permission from the government of India to come through. As such, the cases in India continue to rise, and have neared 1.2 million, while in the UAE there have been just over 57,000 cases so far, of which nearly 50,000 have recovered.
As more and more bilateral series and multi-team tournaments - the Asia Cup earlier and now the T20 World Cup now - get postponed, the IPL is the biggest tournament in the horizon.
"It's such an incredible time and having to consider these things," Williamson said of the situation. "Nobody would have thought in their lifetime that you would have to think like this and those things do run through your mind. Everybody perhaps has a slightly different view and perspective on it depending on their situation and their own ideas but from my perspective, if the safety was ensured - I know as a country it's been incredible the way we've been able to handle it but we're a small part of the world and to a large extent we're all in it together.
"You certainly want to see it improve so much worldwide and it's so much more of a challenge with countries that have huge populations but in terms of the IPL as an isolated event, they're looking at the best options to host it in a safe place where people can be quarantined much like you're seeing with other sports around the world. Like I said, there's a lot of planning still to be done to make sure that happens and we only know what we know and that's no different from what you're hearing."
Most of the premier New Zealand players - men and women - recently returned to training in two different camps, one in the south in Lincoln from July 13-16, and now in the north, in Mount Maunganui, from July 19 to 24 in Mount Maunganui. Their international tours of Bangladesh and Europe have also been postponed indefinitely, but the players are training in anticipation of a full home summer of cricket.
"[It's] recently been very light, just been at home doing nothing," Williamson said of the break. "But as we know, the schedule of the international game over the last few years has got busier and busier, and it is something you consider, not just the captaincy but as a player, you wanting to be going in that upward trend in terms of learning and performance.
"And as the volume gets greater, we are not used to having a week at home, let alone two weeks and lockdown, so it was a unique experience for the players, just to be at home for a period of time. And to try and refresh. I think the guys were trying to view it that way and have a positive slant on the experiences that we had. I suppose if you do reflect back, the volume seems to be greater and no doubt when the opportunities come - there will be a lot of content of cricket, which will be really exciting - then it's just a process that's managed when you're perhaps faced with some of these challenges.
"I know the guys are really looking forward to catching up, it's been a long time. The team is getting back into training and potential cricket is on the horizon so the players want to be ready."