Exclusive: Dion Nash shocked by ‘short turnaround’ time for New Zealand team after T20 World Cup 2021 final

New Zealand cricket team were back on the cricket field facing India in the first of three T20 games in Jaipur on Wednesday (November 17) literally days after losing the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 final to Australia on Sunday (November 14). While the Black Caps rested some of their key players like skipper Kane Williamson for the T20 series, it was hard on other top players like stand-in skipper Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Martin Guptill who are playing almost non-stop for the last few months.

Former New Zealand all-rounder and captain Dion Nash revealed in a chat to Zee News English that even he was caught-out by ‘short turnaround’ and missed watching the first T20 game on Wednesday. Team India under Rohit Sharma posted a five-wicket win to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

“I think all of us were caught out by this short turnaround time, including myself. I think we have reached a high watermark when the officials need to take a look at condensed nature of cricket due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not just New Zealand but there are lot of other teams playing international cricket without any break as well,” Nash said in an exclusive interview to Zee News English on Thursday (November 18).

“We need to look at longer cooling off period for the international cricketers. While it is good for cricketers because you have a larger pool of players in international cricket, we need to strike a right balance,” he added.

Nash, who turned out in 32 Tests and 81 ODIs for New Zealand in his international career, believes ‘smaller nations’ like the Kiwis will suffer if not given sufficient break. “Smaller nations like New Zealand are bound to suffer because we don’t have a large pool of cricketers. You want healthy competition in cricket which means giving enough break to the cricketers from the bio-bubbles,” Nash felt.

The 49-year-old from Auckland was pleased by his nation’s performance in reaching their first T20 World Cup final. “I think New Zealand played really well. T20 is a very hard format and all about getting the right momentum. If one batsmen gets going, he can set up the entire game for his team and it’s the same for bowler. New Zealand got that with players like Williamson and Darryl Mitchell in the World Cup,” he said.

Team India, who were the hosts of the T20 World Cup 2021, had a disappointing campaign as they failed to reach the semifinals after losing their first two games to Pakistan and New Zealand. “I think T20 format brings all teams closer and there are no real favourites. Nature of T20s is such that if you lose momentum early it is very hard to get it back and that’s what happened to India when they lost their first two games early. It brings smaller teams into contention like Afghanistan, who are a much bigger threat in T20 cricket than in Test cricket,” Nash said.

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Sagar Biswas

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