Kane Williamson, captain of the New Zealand cricket team and a member of Sunrisers Hyderabad, is excited at the prospect of the IPL happening in UAE but is equally cautious “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,” ESPNCricinfo quoted him as saying on the sidelines of a Kiwi training session at Bay Oval 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 within 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
“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. 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,” he further added.
The IPL, which was scheduled to be held in April was postponed due to the outbreak of Covid 19 Pandemic. However, with the T20 World Cup being postponed, IPL will now be played in the window between September 26 and November 7 in the UAE. Meanwhile New Zealand’s cricketers returned to training in batches last week despite the cancellation of their winter assignments. They remain, as yet, hopeful of a full home season as well as a white-ball tour to Australia early in January 2021. Williamson said it will be good to meet up with the full team once more, and begin training in earnest in anticipation of a tight playing schedule in the near future.
“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,” he said.
“The training recently has been very light, just been at home doing nothing. 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.”