• Kiwi Cricketers Left in the Lurch by IPL

    As bad as we often felt during schoolyard pickup games, were we were often the last selected, we cannot imagine the chagrin that must be being felt by the Kiwi XI, none of whom were chosen during the Indian Premier League auction.

    The list of snubs is a long one.

    Former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum went unsold. It is hard to sell your services or lean on your experience when you are 37 years old and McCullum has been the recipient of one blow after another. He was released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore last month, less than a fortnight after the Lahore Qalandars decided that his days in the Pakistan Super League were at their conclusion.

    The writing could be seen in the reports, as there was talk about McCullum’s exploits when the IPL launched in 2008.

    McCullum retired from international cricket in 2016, possibly a case of bow out gracefully or risk being dropped, but he has found steady work since that time in the popular T20 format, playing for leagues around the world.

    The good news is that he will have a job with the Brisbane Heat in the BBL, but that can be viewed as nothing other than a demotion compared to what a job in the IPL would have done for him.

    He was a fixture of the IPL. Three seasons with Kolkata 2008 – 2010, two more in 2012 – 2013, along with stops at Kochi Tuskers, Chennai, Bangalore and Gujarat equate to a long and productive career, but his time to fade has come.

    Other Kiwis left dangling in the IPL breeze were Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham and Luke Ronchi, to mention just three.

    A few New Zealanders were retained as well, so the news was not all bad for Black Cappers.

    Lockie Ferguson was picked up by Kilkata and Martin Guptill will be with the Sunrisers Hyderbad.

    The New Zealand Cricket Board had given their blessings to Kiwi cricketers playing the entire IPL competition, which runs from the end of March through mid-May, even though the IPL fixture clashes with preparations for the 50-over Cricket World cup in England late in May.