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Match practice for Indian Test stars in jeopardy

New Zealand Players' Association objected to adding more foreigners to the domestic teams.

Press Trust Of India |February 22, 2009, 7:04 PM IST
Match practice for Indian Test stars in jeopardy

Christchurch: The chance for Rahul Dravid and company to get some practice ahead of the Test series against New Zealand looks dim after the Players' Association here objected to adding one more foreigner to the domestic teams in the state championship.

Dravid, VVS Laxman, Murali Vijay, Amit Mishra, Dhawal Kulkarni and Lakshmipathy Balaji will join the Indian squad late and the Indian board has asked its New Zealand counterpart to provide some match practice.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said efforts were on to tag the six Indians to the local teams for the state championship but the move now faces opposition from the Players' Association.

"If they think they can change the conditions half-way through the competition we would be absolutely against that," Players' Association boss Heath Mills was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald.

Vaughan had earlier said that the Indian players would play the State Championship round from March 6 to 9.

But the association made it clear that it would not support any relaxation of the rules on overseas players, with each major association allowed only one overseas professional for any match.

Vaughan, however, told a local newspaper that NZC had the facility "under the playing regulations to change" the rules surrounding overseas players.

Another content_cnious question is the inclusion of the Indian players. The New Zealand state championship is a three-way race with Central Districts, Wellington and Auckland looking for maximum points.

The sides with Dravid, Laxman and Mishra could be at an advantage than others.

Putting the six Indians at teams which are not in the reckoning in the championship too met with opposition from the Players' Association.

"You can't just go and change the playing conditions because it might be convenient. There is no way we would support that," Mills said.

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3882 105
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5093 127
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
5 Australia 3518 107
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
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