Finch 'no chance' for start of the IPL
Aaron Finch puts impending nuptials ahead of the start of his Indian Premier League campaign
Louis Cameron in Auckland
15 February 2018, 02:50 PM AEST
Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell both hold Indian Premier League contracts worth more than a million dollars but the pair have a reasonable excuse for missing the beginning of this year's tournament.
Finch, snapped up by Kings XI Punjab in last month's auction for a cool $AUD 1.2million, has scheduled his wedding for early April and has appointed close friend Maxwell to MC the event.
Maxwell, bought for $1.75 million by Delhi Daredevils, explained earlier this week that Finch was originally told the tournament was likely to start on April 15 and accordingly picked April 7 as the date to tie the knot with partner Amy Griffiths.
But the IPL on Wednesday, less than two months out from the tournament’s start date, confirmed this year's competition would begin on April 7 with Finch's Kings XI Punjab to kick off their campaign against Maxwell's Delhi Daredevils on April 8.
It means they'll both miss the opening match in Delhi, though the Victorian duo thankfully have strong existing bonds with their respective incoming Australian IPL coaches.
Finch will play under former Bushrangers teammate Brad Hodge at Punjab while Maxwell is set to continue his close rapport with Australia T20 assistant coach and new Delhi mentor Ricky Ponting.
"I saw the fixture this morning - there's no chance I'll be missing my wedding," Finch told reporters in Auckland on Thursday ahead of Australia’s T20 International against New Zealand.
"That'd be a bit tough leaving Amy at the altar, wouldn't it?"
"The second game we play is on the 13th, that'll give me plenty of time to get over there and miss only one game luckily.
"Having one of my good mates 'Hodgey' as coach … he knows about it now. I did wait a bit longer to send him the invite before the auction.
"It's just a case of missing one game but hopefully playing with Kings over a three-year period, it's not the end of the world."
Finch doesn't expect any other high-profile Australian players to miss the beginning of the IPL due to his wedding.
"Guys like Davey (Warner) and that, they've got a job to do for their franchises so I'm sure they'll be in India," he said.
Missing this one on #valentinesday 🌹❤️ Sending all my love from NZ 😘 @amy_griffiths A post shared by Aaron Finch (@aaronfinch5) on
Speaking on SEN radio program Whateley earlier this week, Maxwell revealed the overlap.
"This is an interesting one and I haven’t told anyone this before, not even Punter - we've got Aaron Finch's wedding on April 7," said Maxwell, who has since informed Ponting of the clash.
"They said the IPL was going to start on the April 15th - he thought the dates were set but we found out about three months ago it was going to start on the eighth."
Finch isn't the only Australian cricketer who's had the difficult task of finding a free date in the jam-packed international schedule.
Test captain Steve Smith last year got engaged to partner Dani Willis, with the pair tentatively finding a window later this year to tie the knot.
"We're looking around September so hopefully he'll be around," Willis told cricket.com.au after Smith won the Allan Border Medal on Monday, dryly adding: "It's kind of important that he attends, I can't Skype him in for that."
Australia T20 quick Kane Richardson will sit out this year's IPL, partly due to his own upcoming wedding in April and also in a bid to allow his body to adequately recover after the summer.
Former limited-overs captain George Bailey has also put family first for the winter, declining to put his name forward for the IPL auction and pulling out of an English county stint with Hampshire.
Finch will get the chance to take on Maxwell later in this year’s IPL when Punjab host Delhi in Indore on April 23.
Trans-Tasman T20 Tri-Series
First T20I Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets. Scorecard
Second T20I Australia beat England by five wickets. Scorecard
Third T20I Australia beat England by seven wickets. Scorecard
Fourth T20I New Zealand beat England by 12 runs. Scorecard
Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21
Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.