McCullum: IPL no excuse for NZ

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Six members of their likely starting line-up for the Lord’s match only arrived in England a couple of days before the start because of their Indian Premier League commitments.

Although McCullum admitted the cold in London had come as something of a shock – it was 45 degrees in Chennai – his squad are excited to get the two-Test series underway.

“We are excited, a Test at Lord’s is something very few people get the opportunity to play in. It’s such an amazing ground, such character,” McCullum said.

“It’s the tradition, the history of the ground. The amount of great players who have played here and been in the dressing room.??

“The crowd is also unique, people talk about the Lord’s buzz and it certainly does buzz. It’s a wonderful place to play and dream of playing here.

“There are challenges coming from the IPL but it was only last year when we went to the West Indies and got 500 in the first innings, so it can work as a positive as well. It’s certainly not an excuse.”

McCullum would not be drawn on England’s problems, headlined by the omission of Kevin Pietersen from their squad, and he expects whatever side they put out to be strong.

“They are obviously going through some challenges, we’ve been there as well and understand what every team has to go through but they are still stacked full of world-class players,” he added.