Sri Lanka tries to buy top Kiwis for T20 comp

Monday, 17 January 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Several of New Zealand’s biggest-hitting cricketers have been given yet another opportunity to line their pockets with wads of dollars after receiving approaches to take part in the Sri Lankan domestic Twenty20 competition midway through the year.

The Sunday Star-Times understands Ross Taylor, who last Saturday became an overnight millionaire after selling for a whopping $1.3 million in the Indian Premier League’s glamour auction, is one of those offered the chance to ply his trade in Sri Lanka.

Brendon McCullum is also thought to have been identified as a possible overseas player while all-rounder Jacob Oram yesterday confirmed he had been in talks about taking part in the Sri Lanka league.

Details of the proposed competition remain hard to come by but it’s believed the tournament will run in Kandy in late July and early August.

An approach to Taylor was made before Christmas but it’s understood he is unlikely to take up the deal, opting instead for a break from the game after what will be a gruelling start to the year. McCullum is understood to be in the same boat.

Following the current Pakistan tour, the one-day world cup runs from mid-February to early April, followed almost immediately by the IPL, which runs through to May.

Oram, however, won’t be taking part in this year’s IPL competition, after surprisingly being overlooked by the Indian franchises at last week’s auction.

As a result, he is contemplating taking up an offer to play in Sri Lanka but confirmed the money on offer was “not even in the same ballpark as the Indian Premier League”.

One source said yesterday the potential financial windfall for the New Zealand players could be up to $30,000 for two weeks’ work.

“I’ve heard a little bit about the league in Sri Lanka,” Oram told the Sunday Star-Times.

“I know they are interested in me but as of yet I haven’t seen a finalised contract and I haven’t signed a contract.”

“It’s just, I suppose, a sign of the times with Twenty20 competitions popping up all over the place and money being involved.

“I’m not even sure if New Zealand has commitments during that time so while a Sri Lankan team may want me, I may not be available if I’m still playing for New Zealand.”

While the winter schedule is yet to be finalised, it’s unlikely the Black Caps will be on the road at the same time as the Sri Lanka competition.

That would free Oram from any potential international commitments. “I’d be stupid not to be considering playing in the competition,” he said. “I’ve had very little cricket lately due to my injuries.”