Trent Boult and Jimmy Neesham, who both opted out of central contracts, have made the cut as New Zealand on Monday named an experienced 15-member squad, led by Kane Williamson, for next month’s ODI World Cup in India.
Williamson, who last played for the Black Caps in March, returns to the side as he continues to recover from a ruptured ACL suffered during this year’s IPL. However, it is not yet known whether he will be fit for New Zealand’s opening match against England, which is also the tournament opener, on October 5.
“From Kane and Tim (Southee) heading to their fourth tournament to the guys selected for the first time, it’s always a very exciting time,” head coach Gary Stead said.
“As with any squad named for an ICC tournament, there have been some tough calls and there will be some disappointed players. The key for us was finding the right balance for the squad and making sure we had our bases covered for what is going to be a very competitive tournament,” he added.
All-rounder Neesham, who almost led New Zealand to victory with the bat in the thrilling Super Over in the 2019 World Cup final against England at Lord’s, Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi have also been retained and will feature in their second consecutive 50-over World Cup.
The likes of Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips have earned a maiden call-up for the 50-over mega event.
New Zealand Cricket’s social media team grabbed eyeballs with its unique idea of announcing the World Cup squad. “Our 2023 @cricketworldcup squad introduced by their number 1 fans!” BlackCaps captioned the video posted on X (formerly Twitter), where family members of the New Zealand players introduced their dear ones with jersey numbers.
In the video, Williamson’s family, Boult’s sons, Rachin Ravindra’s parents and Neesham’s grandmother were seen wishing their kin with their respective jersey numbers.
Written with PTI inputs