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New Zealand Cricketers Allowed To Join IPL Early, To Skip Sri Lanka White-Ball Series

Four New Zealand cricket players, including Kane Williamson and Tim Southee, have been given permission by the country’s cricket board to join their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams without participating in the home white-ball series against Sri Lanka. The quartet of Williamson (Gujarat Titans), Southee (Kolkata Knight Riders), Devon Conway, and Mitchell Santner (both Chennai Super Kings) will be released after the second and final Test against Sri Lanka starting Friday, to join their IPL franchises early.

The remaining three players, Finn Allen (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Lockie Ferguson (KKR), and Glenn Phillips (Sunrisers Hyderabad), will fly out to India after the first One Day International (ODI) match scheduled in Auckland on March 25.

The IPL season commences on March 31 with a game between defending champions Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad.

In Williamson’s absence, Tom Latham will lead New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) squad for the ODI series against Sri Lanka. Mark Chapman, Ben Lister, and Henry Nicholls will join the team before the second ODI match at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on March 28.

NZC has selected Canterbury’s Chad Bowes and Auckland’s Ben Lister as the two uncapped players in the ODI squad to face Sri Lanka. Lister recently made his T20I debut for New Zealand in India last month, while Bowes has earned his first selection in the Black Caps squad.

Gary Stead, Black Caps coach, expressed his excitement over the new additions to the squad and the players’ efforts to return to the international format. New Zealand is set to play 16 white ball matches between now and the start of May, providing opportunities for players to test themselves in familiar and unfamiliar conditions ahead of the ODI World Cup in India in October-November.

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