The 15-member squad for the 2018 T20 World Cup, which will take place in Australia in October-November, was unveiled by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Tuesday. The only newcomers from the team that advanced to the final of the competition in the UAE last year are Finn Allen and Michael Bracewell, who have been selected for their first senior World Cups. After being called up to the team last October to replace Lockie Ferguson (calf injury) early in the competition, paceman Adam Milne, 30, has kept his spot. After donning the gloves in the UAE and the most recent series against the West Indies, Devon Conway has been appointed the front-line wicketkeeper.
In being chosen for his seventh T20 World Cup, Martin Guptill joins an elite group of athletes that includes Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Mahmudullah, and Mushfiqur Rahim. Shakib Al-Hasan and Rohit Sharma will be playing in their eighth World Cups. Only two other New Zealanders—Ross Taylor and Nathan McCullum—have participated in six T20 World Cups. “Of those who featured in last year’s World Cup squad, Kyle Jamieson wasn’t considered as he continues his rehabilitation from a back injury, while Todd Astle and Tim Seifert have missed selection,” stated an official NZC release.
The T20 tri-series with Pakistan and Bangladesh begins on October 7 in Christchurch, and the New Zealand T20 World Cup team will first play in that series. The tri-series will provide fans their final opportunity to see the team before they fly for Australia on October 15 with seven games spread over eight days at Hagley Oval. “It’s always a special time announcing a World Cup squad and I’d like to congratulate the 15 players selected today. It’s especially exciting for Finn and Michael who are set for their first ICC events, while Martin Guptill is preparing for his 7th T20 World Cup – which in itself is an incredible achievement,” said head coach Gary Stead.
“It’s great to have this tournament so soon after last year’s event in which we played some really good cricket, but couldn’t quite get over the line at the end. With the nucleus of that squad retained along with the exciting additions of Finn and Michael, we should go into the tournament with plenty of optimism,” he added. On Saturday, October 22, New Zealand will face Australia at the SCG to kick off their T20 World Cup campaign. Thereafter, they will play Afghanistan, England, and two qualifiers at the SCG and Adelaide Oval, respectively.
Here’s the New Zealand squad for T20 World Cup and tri-series: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.