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Black Caps name full strength squad for Pakistan series

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Jan 2024, 11:13AM
Devon Conway in action for the Black Caps. Photo / Photosport
Devon Conway in action for the Black Caps. Photo / Photosport

Black Caps name full strength squad for Pakistan series

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Jan 2024, 11:13AM

Pace-bowler Matt Henry has been called into the Black Caps T20 squad to face Pakistan, two months after being ruled out of the ICC Cricket World Cup in India with a hamstring injury. 

Captain Kane Williamson and opening batter Devon Conway also return for the series after periods of rest following their return from the Bangladesh Test tour. 

Henry is set to make his return to the field on Friday, when his Canterbury Kings side squares off against the Central Stags in a Super Smash contest at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. 

The 32-year-old will then join a Black Caps squad of 13 in Auckland next week ahead of Friday night’s opening Twenty20 at Eden Park, the first of the five-game series against Pakistan. 

Williamson will miss the third T20I of the series (in Dunedin) as he continues to manage his knee injury, with the uncapped Josh Clarkson called in as cover for the match and Mitchell Santner set to stand in as skipper. 

Rachin Ravindra wasn’t considered as a replacement for Williamson in the third game, as he begins a period of rest after being on the road with the Black Caps since the beginning of August, a decision made by NZC in conjunction with Cricket Wellington. 

Pace-bowler Lockie Ferguson is set to make his return following an achilles injury which has sidelined him since the ODI World Cup. 

Ferguson is scheduled to return to action via the Auckland Aces, for whom he will play three Super Smash games over the next two weeks before joining the Black Caps squad for the final three games of the T20 series. 

His absence means 25-year-old fast-bowler Ben Sears has been included for the opening two games of the Pakistan series, continuing his run in the T20 side after impressing in the recent series against Bangladesh. 

Black Caps T20 squad for Pakistan 

Kane Williamson (c) (games 1,2,4 & 5) 

Finn Allen 

Mark Chapman 

Josh Clarkson (game 3 only) 

Devon Conway (wk) 

Lockie Ferguson (games 3,4 & 5) 

Matt Henry 

Adam Milne 

Daryl Mitchell 

Glenn Phillips 

Mitchell Santner 

Ben Sears (games 1 & 2) 

Tim Seifert (wk) 

Ish Sodhi 

Tim Southee 

 

Kyle Jamieson wasn’t considered for the T20I series as he continues to rehabilitate a hamstring injury, while Trent Boult (UAE) and Jimmy Neesham (South Africa) were unavailable due to overseas T20 league commitments. 

Michael Bracewell was also not considered for selection as he continues his recovery from an achilles injury, with his return to play likely to be via the Wellington Firebirds in the Super Smash this month. 

Black Caps coach Gary Stead said the Pakistan series was important for a variety of reasons. 

“It’s great to be welcoming back Matt, Devon, Lockie and Kane,” he said. 

“They’re four quality players in their own right and their skills and experience will bolster our side. 

“Starting the series off at Eden Park on a Friday night will be a great occasion and one I know the team will relish. 

“With just three T20I series left before the T20 World Cup, all matches are vitally important for our preparation.” 

Stead highlighted Ravindra’s omission as he begins a period of rest following five months of continual touring with the side. 

“Rachin’s a young player who has immense value to New Zealand Cricket and we therefore want to look after his wellbeing. 

“He’s the only player or staff member to have been touring non-stop for the past five months across five countries and that’s simply not sustainable. 

“He’s still very much part of our thinking for the T20 World Cup in June and will come back into the reckoning for the T20 series against Australia in February.” 

The Black Caps T20I squad for Pakistan assembles in Auckland on Wednesday January 9. 

 

Black Caps v Pakistan T20Is 

1st KFC T20I – Fri, Jan 12, Eden Park, Auckland 

2nd KFC T20I – Sun, Jan 14, Seddon Park, Hamilton 

3rd KFC T20I – Wed, Jan 17, University Oval, Dunedin 

4th KFC T20I – Fri, Jan 19, Hagley Oval, Christchurch 

5th KFC T20I – Sun, Jan 21, Hagley Oval, Christchurch 

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