New Zealand’s Black Caps have become the first team to name their squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup hosted in the United Kingdom.
Tom Latham is likely to take the gloves for the Kiwis who have called up uncapped wicketkeeper Tom Blundell after reserve gloveman, Tim Seifert, was ruled out with injury.
Ish Sodhi claimed the role of second spinner behind, fit-again allrounder Mitchell Santner while the form of Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme at six and seven will likely see the Black Caps opt for five batsmen in most of their CWC contests.
“As with any squad named for a major tournament, there’s had to be some tough calls and there will be some disappointed players,” coach Gary Stead said at the announcement on Wednesday.
“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 World Cup. As a one-day unit we’ve been pretty consistent over the past few years and possess a very experienced group of core players, proven at the top level.
“The World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket and to be the first nation to name a squad for the tournament is really exciting. I’d like to congratulate all the players selected. To represent your country at a World Cup is a huge honour and I know the entire squad and support staff are looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
The members of the team not engaged in IPL commitments will meet in Christchurch for a series of camps in April and a short warmup tour to Australia has also been arranged.
“We will have three training camps through April which will involve many players who are not in this squad as it’s important they’re ready on stand-by should we lose anybody in the lead up to or at the tournament,” Stead said.
Colin Munro has proven potent in T20I cricket but he is likely to be the man who misses out among the six top order batsmen selected. Henry Nicholls is expected to open the batting alongside World Cup veteran Martin Guptill.
Black Caps Cricket World Cup 2019 Squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Tom Blundell, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.