Photo Credit: New Zealand Cricket
Regular BLACKCAPS white ball captain Kane Williamson will lead a largely settled T20 squad in the team’s final international series of the year.
The three match KFC T20I Series against Bangladesh starts at Napier’s McLean Park on the 27th of December before the teams head to Tauranga’s Bay Oval for the final two matches of the series leading into the New Year on the 29th and 31st of December.
Williamson, Jimmy Neesham and Ben Sears are the only players in the squad that didn’t also feature against England in the team’s most recent T20I series earlier this year.
Williamson missed that series as he continued to recover from knee surgery while Neesham was originally in the squad to face England but returned to New Zealand early ahead of the birth of his first child. With Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne filling the express bowling spots, Sears didn’t feature.
For Sears, the series represents a chance to play international cricket at home for the first time with all his previous caps coming overseas.
Regular T20 opener Devon Conway wasn’t considered for selection as he continues a period of rest following a heavy workload during 2023 while Michael Bracewell (Achilles), Lockie Ferguson (Achilles), Matt Henry (hamstring) and Henry Shipley (back) weren’t considered due to injury. Trent Boult made himself unavailable for selection for the series.
BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead said the series represented the start of the team’s preparation and lead-in to next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, to be held in the West Indies and United States of America.
“It’s great to be able to finish off a busy year that started on the road by having the group together in New Zealand,” said Stead.
“We’ve played T20 cricket in a wide variety of conditions this year and it’s been great to see a broad range of players making contributions.
“Tim Seifert, as an example, returned to the side in a specific role at the top of the order and made significant contributions in each series he was part of.”
“With a World Cup in the middle of next year we‘re well into our planning in terms of both the tournament and the type of squad we might need in the conditions.
“While we’re advanced in our planning, as we saw with the One Day World Cup Squad this year with the likes of Mark Chapman and Rachin Ravindra – there is certainly still time for players to come into that mix.”
BLACKCAPS T20 Squad
Kane Williamson (c)
Stead will be joined by regular batting coach Luke Ronchi, and Canterbury Men’s Development Coach Brendon Donkers as bowling coach, with the group also receiving assistance from NZC High Performance Network Coach Dean Brownlie.
The squad will assemble on Boxing Day in Napier.