Vettori calls end to IPL controversy
Captain Daniel Vettori hopes the controversy of his and four New Zealand teammates' late arrivals in England was silenced by their first cricket test performances.
Vettori was named man of the match in the drawn first test at Lord's today for his haul of five for 69 in the England first innings.
Of the others who were permitted by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to miss the first two tour matches to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Jacob Oram racked up his fifth test century today while Brendon McCullum topscored with a vital first innings 97.
Only Ross Taylor, with a double of 19 and 20, and Kyle Mills who took one for 60 off 22 overs were on the "must improve" list.
Vettori received strong criticism from former England captain and now Daily Telegraph cricket writer Mike Atherton who insisted he'd dented team morale by not arriving with his young teammates.
Said Vettori: "We were completely comfortable with the situation, I suppose you guys (media) are the only ones who aren't comfortable with it.
"We've just got to sit back and play cricket and perform like we think we can. We knew we were going to be under some fire for the decisions we made, but the only way we can justify that is with performances."
Vettori also confirmed McCullum wouldn't return to India should his Kolkata team make the IPL semifinals between the second and third tests, despite reports NZC had been offered a $US1 million ($NZ1.3 million) sweetener.
"I think (chief executive) Justin Vaughan put that to bed. He said it's not going to happen."
McCullum sounded alarm bells in the camp today when struck a nasty blow by England paceman Stuart Broad on his left forearm, which wasn't protected by an arm guard.
He retired hurt but x-rays at a nearby hospital cleared him of any break.
"We were very concerned because he's such an integral part of our team, but he's a pretty tough guy as well so for him to come off the field he must have been in some discomfort.
"You saw how brave he is when x-rays came back clear, we didn't really want him to be but he wanted to get out there as soon as he could."
England captain Michael Vaughan said both sides would go to Old Trafford for Friday's second test in confident mood.
"New Zealand will be saying they got out safely and very calmly in the end, we feel we've created opportunities to maybe win the game today but we didn't quite grasp it," Vaughan said.
"It really hasn't gone far enough for either team to say who's come out further on top."