IPL was not a distraction - Oram
Jacob Oram insists New Zealand’s failure to wrap up the one-day series against England was not influenced by the distraction of the Indian Premier League’s player auction.
New Zealand’s premier all-rounder was one of four players in their side for the thrilling tie at Napier that were being auctioned off to the IPL franchises as the game reached its climax at McLean Park.
But Oram, who did not enjoy one of his better games after conceding 43 runs in seven overs and scoring only six, was insistent that the IPL bidding did not affect New Zealand, who failed to win from a favourable position with seven overs remaining.
“When I was facing balls or running in to bowl (all I was thinking) was about what I had to do then,” stressed Oram. “There was nothing like that (thinking about the auction).
“I know there could be a correlation between possibly my worst bowling performance for four or five games and getting out cheaply, but if you looked at the nature of the wicket, nearly 700 runs scored, I don’t think it was the bowlers day. I’m going to have days when I fail, there’s no correlation from a personal level.
“It’s been a pretty emotional 24 hours for myself and a few of the guys. The game was such a rollercoaster that to tie it really felt like a loss.
“Being part of that middle order that faltered, I suppose a bit more of the blame is on my shoulders, but that’s gone now. We can’t lose the series but we obviously want to win it on Saturday.”
Oram’s was one of four wickets to fall in eight overs as New Zealand fell short of the 45 runs required for victory in the final seven overs with seven wickets in hand. Captain Daniel Vettori failed to score the two needed off the final ball and could only scramble a single.
It leaves New Zealand, who claimed comfortable victories in the opening two matches, needing to avoid defeat in Christchurch on Saturday to secure the series - and at least the IPL issue is settled now for four of their leading players.
Oram was secured by Chennai for US$675,000, captain Vettori went to Delhi for $625,000 and all-rounder Scott Styris was bought by Hyderabad for $175,000, but the biggest fee was paid for wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum, who cost Kolkatta $700,000.
“The auction last night was a weird feeling,” Oram admitted. “I’ve never been in a situation where that sort of money has been thrown around or talked about and to be right in the mix of it is kind of surreal, and pleasant.
“Not seeing it took a wee bit of the edge of it. We were basically sitting there having a few beers at the hotel celebrating Jamie How’s wonderful knock, the wonderful game that it was and we were getting information through friends and family.
“When I first heard (his bid) I didn’t want to believe it until I saw it in black and white on the internet. It took my breath away to be honest. I was pretty speechless for a while.
“It changes your life - it’s security for the future. It’s a massive shift in my whole life.”
But he insisted his IPL commitments, which at present clash with the start of New Zealand’s tour to England starting in late April, will not prevent him preparing properly for the start of the Test series at Lord’s on May 15.
“It’s pro-rata and we’d have to be there for the whole 44 days of the competition (to get paid the full amount) and obviously that’s impossible,” he explained.
“It’s still being worked through with New Zealand Cricket when we’re going to join but playing for New Zealand and the English tour is priority number one.
“I’ll need warm-ups in England, preparation the same as I would have for other tours. Test matches are every cricketer’s number one goal. Dan as captain and and Brendon as vice-captain have massive responsibilities with this team.”