Cricket: Oram chooses to bide his time

By David Leggat

Jacob Oram is in wait-and-see mode on his future international career.

The big allrounder returned yesterday from a personally satisfying World Cup in which he took 12 wickets at 18 apiece, second only to New Zealand's player of the cup, Tim Southee.

Injuries have plagued the 32-year-old's career but he got through the cup without mishap and feels good about his fitness. Still, he will hold off on a decision about his future until he gets back on the fitness treadmill around July.

Oram has become the seventh member of the national squad to pick up an Indian Premier League deal for the T20 tournament which starts next week.

He's been called in as a replacement for an injured player and returns to India next week, but can't identify the franchise until paperwork is finalised.

After that, there's a four-month break before New Zealand head to Zimbabwe.

"It has changed my outlook a wee bit," Oram said of the cup last night. "I had a reasonably good World Cup and now with this IPL opportunity I just feel maybe it's not the end of me."

On his return, he will have a few weeks off before heading to the gym.

"That will be the big test, whether my motivation levels are high enough to keep thrashing myself to stay in international condition.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the World Cup. I finally started to get back to where I know I can play and above all else my body hasn't felt better for a couple of years.

"If I feel that way through the winter there's no reason tostop."

Oram returned with pride at having reached the semifinals as well as dissatisfaction that the New Zealanders hadn't been able to push one step further and make the final for the first time.

He's not interested in taking a swipe at the pre-cup critics, admitting that "if we're completely honest with ourselves as players we deserved a lot of the criticism we got in the last six months".

"What I was happy with was that finally we showed glimpses of how good we can be.

"We fought hard, showed a lot of character but just not often enough to get over the line in that semifinal."

- NZ Herald

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