Photo Credit: New Zealand Cricket
A New Zealand A squad boasting seven BLACKCAPS and two new faces has been selected to face Australia A in Brisbane starting next week.
The tour, which comprises two first-class four-day matches and three 50-over matches, forms the return leg of March’s visit from Australia A when the hosts claimed a 1-0 victory in the two-game red-ball series.
Australia’s named formidable squads stacked with internationals for the series, with the likes of Todd Murphy, Matt Renshaw, Josh Phillipe and Cameron Bancroft confirmed.
The NZ A squad features seven players who have made senior BLACKCAPS appearances: Tim Seifert, Tom Bruce, Jacob Duffy, Scott Kuggeleijn and Ajaz Patel – alongside Adi Ashok and Dean Foxcroft who recently made their full international debuts against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai.
Ashok and Foxcroft will be available for the second first-class match in MacKay joining the squad after their involvement in the BLACKCAPS warm-up matches in England, while Seifert will join the squad for the final two one-day matches.
Wellington’s Nick Kelly and Central Districts’ Josh Clarkson have received call-ups to the New Zealand A squad for the first time.
In his debut season for the Wellington Firebirds, Kelly was one of domestic cricket’s form top-order batters picking up his third and fourth first-class centuries and becoming a key cog in the Firebirds’ white-ball setup.
Clarkson was a key figure in the Stags’ Ford Trophy and Plunket Shield winning campaigns, scoring an unbeaten 111 in the Ford Trophy final against Canterbury, before scoring a handy 79 in the first innings as the Stags defeated the Aces to claim the first-class title in the same week.
Central Districts pace bowler Brett Randell was included in the New Zealand A squad for Australia’s incoming tour to New Zealand in March however was unavailable to play as he encountered a concussion the week before the tour was set to begin.
Wellington Firebirds allrounder Muhammad Abbas, who was awarded his first domestic men’s contract for the 2023-24 season, is also included for the first-class matches after being called in for the second match of the series against Australia A in March.
Northern Districts batter Joe Carter made himself unavailable as he continues his rehabilitation from hip surgery.
New Zealand A squad v Australia A
Muhammad Abbas (Wellington) (first-class only)
Adi Ashok (Auckland)
Tom Bruce (C) (Central Districts)
Leo Carter (Canterbury)*
Josh Clarkson (Central Districts)*
Henry Cooper (Northern Districts) (first-class only)
Jacob Duffy (Otago)
Cam Fletcher (Auckland)
Dean Foxcroft (Otago)
Mitch Hay (Canterbury)
Nick Kelly (Wellington)*
Scott Kuggeleijn (Northern Districts)
Will O’Rourke (Canterbury)
Ajaz Patel (Central Districts) (first-class only)
Michael Rae (Canterbury) (one day only)
Brett Randell (Central Districts)*
Tim Seifert (Northern Districts) (one day only)
Sean Solia (Auckland)
*Uncapped for New Zealand A
The team departs for Australia on August 24 ahead of the first four-day match at Allan Border Field in Brisbane starting on August 28.
Canterbury men’s coach Brendon Donkers will lead the coaching staff and be supported by NZC pathways coaches Bob Carter and Graeme Aldridge.
Donkers said a tour to Australia was always one to look forward to.
“From a Kiwi perspective, any time you get to head over the ditch to play Australia is an occasion to savour,” he said.
“It’s awesome to have such high-calibre squads selected on both sides and I’m sure that will make for some very competitive cricket.
“From our perspective, it’s great to have a mix of current and recent BLACKCAPS joining us along with the next tier of talent who have been rewarded for their performances on the domestic scene.
“Australia A also has included plenty of players with international experience in their side and we’re expecting to see similar quality cricket produced to the recent series in New Zealand in March.
“This level of cricket offers a valuable opportunity for players to test themselves against top-quality opposition and I know the whole squad are excited by the challenges ahead.”
New Zealand A v Australia A
Monday 28–Thursday 31 August – 1st Four-Day match v Australia A – Allan Border Field
Monday 4-Thursday 7 September – 2nd Four-Day match v Australia A – Harrup Park
Sunday 10 September – 1st One-Day match v Australia A – Harrup Park
Wednesday 13 September – 2nd One-Day match v Australia A – Allan Border Field
Friday 15 September – 3rd One-Day match v Australia A – Allan Border Field