New Zealand announce squad for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021


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  1. #1
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    New Zealand announce squad for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021

    A new crew of coaching staff, headed by Wellington coach Glenn Pocknall, will lead the tours to Bangladesh and Pakistan alongside experienced manager Mike Sandle – with regular BLACKCAPS bowling coach Shane Jurgenson joining as head coach for the Pakistan T20 series.

    Tom Latham will captain the side in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the usual combination of skipper Kane Williamson and coach Gary Stead will resume duties for the T20 World Cup and the Test tour to India.

    Ross Taylor was selected for the three ODIs in Pakistan but, with the brief nature of the one-week series and the length of quarantine protocols, it was mutually agreed he would remain at home to prepare for the Indian Test tour and upcoming home summer.

    The first BLACKCAPS squad will depart for Bangladesh on the 23rd of this month and the players from the Test tour to India will return home and emerge from MIQ just before Christmas.

    NZC chief executive David White said changing times demanded changing strategies, with player welfare and support now one of professional sport’s biggest challenges, particularly in the current pandemic environment.

    “The need to safeguard the well-being of our players and support staff is now very real, and we’ve endeavoured to do this by carefully managing their workloads over this winter’s massive playing programme,” said Mr White.

    He said the decision had the backing of the NZC Board and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association.

    “I’m satisfied we’ve selected strong squads for all our touring commitments this winter.

    “As the BLACKCAPS proved in England earlier this year, we have good depth in the New Zealand game and I’m confident all the squads chosen will acquit themselves well.”

    Mr White confirmed that those BLACKCAPS involved in the prematurely suspended IPL21 would be allowed to re-join their franchises, and complete the competition when it re-starts in September.

    “It’s a pragmatic approach,” said Mr White. “We’ve always tried to be realistic about the IPL and this particular issue is very much a one-off, caused by a unique set of circumstances.”


    BLACKCAPS squad for Pakistan ODIs

    Tom Latham (c) (wk)

    Finn Allen

    Hamish Bennett

    Tom Blundell (wk)

    Doug Bracewell

    Colin de Grandhomme

    Jacob Duffy

    Matt Henry

    Scott Kuggeleijn

    Cole McConchie

    Henry Nicholls

    Ajaz Patel

    Rachin Ravindra

    Blair Tickner

    Will Young

    Coaching Staff: Glenn Pocknall, Graeme Aldridge, Tilan Samaraweera


    BLACKCAPS squad for Pakistan T20s

    Tom Latham (c) (wk)

    Finn Allen

    Todd Astle

    Hamish Bennett

    Tom Blundell (wk)

    Mark Chapman

    Colin de Grandhomme

    Martin Guptill

    Matt Henry

    Daryl Mitchell

    Ajaz Patel

    Ish Sodhi

    Ben Sears

    Blair Tickner

    Will Young

    Coaching Staff: Shane Jurgensen, Glenn Pocknall, Graeme Aldridge, Tilan Samaraweera
    Last edited by Last Monetarist; 9th August 2021 at 23:41.

  2. #2
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    Where is Devon Conway?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    Where is Devon Conway?
    Where do u think? He will be part of IPL i bet and he's playing The Hundred as well is he not???

    B team again, not really sufficient practise this, would've at least wanted Adam Milne in here.

  4. #4
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    PCB has set a dangerous precedent where they are accepting B teams to play against them. Too many teams have played their B teams against us now.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shujaatraza View Post
    PCB has set a dangerous precedent where they are accepting B teams to play against them. Too many teams have played their B teams against us now.
    Wouldn't be a concern if we beat these B teams comprehensively. After a certain point, countries would be unwilling to send a B team to Pak if they know they'll be beaten.

    However, if they give us a run for our money or worse, beat us like Eng did, their decision would be completely justified.

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  7. #6
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    New Zealand are not push overs anymore, even with Pak having home advantage.

    Their “B team” has a lot of recognisable faces who are still very decent players so I expect a very competitive series.

    Overall a big plus they are touring.

  8. #7
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    Tom Latham in T20s, lol?

  9. #8
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    Another Jobber bowling attack for Rizwan to inflate his stats

  10. #9
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    No Guptill for ODI squad. That's weird considering he's in the t20 squad and not in contention for Tests.

    They're basically not sending any of their test regulars apart from Latham, Nicolls and Grandhomme.

    Would have been good had they sent Taylor, Southee and a few others.

  11. #10
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    It would be a full comedy if Pakistan lost to such a team that is also at home. Let's see how it goes.

  12. #11
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    It is actually a very decent NZ squad.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shujaatraza View Post
    PCB has set a dangerous precedent where they are accepting B teams to play against them. Too many teams have played their B teams against us now.
    How about we white wash all these B/C teams, and impact their rankings, only then will they think twice before sending a secondary squad.

  14. #13
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    Taylor is not selected for World T20 squad as well. Quarantine period aside I think NZ are trying to look past him in LOIs, atleast for T20s now. He is 37 now and will be 39 by the next ODI WC.

  15. #14
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    Would have loved to seen Ross Taylor in this squad. For someone who has some impressive stats, playing in Pakistan could've been on the bucket list.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shujaatraza View Post
    PCB has set a dangerous precedent where they are accepting B teams to play against them. Too many teams have played their B teams against us now.
    Yet we loose to them with our full strength team, e.g England C team.
    Shoaib Akhtar was right play aggressive cricket,make a strong set,make a brand make a star studded Pakistan team like Wasim waqar Shoaib Inzaman Yousaf Younis,i forgot some names. A team full of stars has a worth not this current Pak team with nobodies.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shujaatraza View Post
    PCB has set a dangerous precedent where they are accepting B teams to play against them. Too many teams have played their B teams against us now.
    After the England series, consider yourself lucky not to be pitted against a C or D grade team.

  18. #17
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    Same NZ team will be whitewashed by Bangladesh but win series against us.

  19. #18
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    As long as the forecast is alright. Need some match practise.

  20. #19
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    Lol people are replying to me as if I am some employee of the PCB. All I meant was the importance of these home tours in Pakistan are diluted because of B teams.

  21. #20
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    I honestly think it will serve both Bangladesh and Pakistan if they omit their series vs New Zealand and play a full fledged series with each other.


  22. #21
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    Well. Its a start and hopefully not a precedent. I think once the crowds are allowed and atmosphere gets electric like before, stars wouldnt mind coming in, provided they are made confident that there aren't any security issues. Also Pakistan need to whitewash these B teams and affect their ranking and put qualification in danger.


    If he bowls with a full sleeve and is an off-spinner, rest assured he chucks. Amen

  23. #22
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    The New Zealand tour is special.

    Its their first visit in 18 years.

    Concentrate on the big picture please.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    The New Zealand tour is special.

    Its their first visit in 18 years.

    Concentrate on the big picture please.
    Whilst I agree with this, they have no excuse to avoid the tour either way. Full strength South Africa had recently completed their test match tour.

    December, 2020, Pakistan squad toured New Zealand during one of the peak phases of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We played our full strength squads, and even when a few of our players got COVID-19, they didn't abandon the tour.

    Had Pakistan chosen to pull out, it would have caused considerable damage to New Zealand's revenue as most boards struggled during the Pandemic.

    I think the New Zealand cricket board has forgotten what has been done for them. If I were in the PCB, I'd send our B team to New Zealand if they want to keep this same attitude.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by UzmanBeast View Post
    Whilst I agree with this, they have no excuse to avoid the tour either way. Full strength South Africa had recently completed their test match tour.

    December, 2020, Pakistan squad toured New Zealand during one of the peak phases of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We played our full strength squads, and even when a few of our players got COVID-19, they didn't abandon the tour.

    Had Pakistan chosen to pull out, it would have caused considerable damage to New Zealand's revenue as most boards struggled during the Pandemic.

    I think the New Zealand cricket board has forgotten what has been done for them. If I were in the PCB, I'd send our B team to New Zealand if they want to keep this same attitude.
    Cricket New Zealand doesn't pay its cricketers enough to impose restrictions on IPL participation. They have a tacit agreement with their players that international duty will not supersede IPL commitments. This is necessary for smaller boards to keep their players motivated, otherwise it'll be the regular discontent that one sees with the West Indies.

    In any case, modern day international white ball cricket isn't important enough to be telling players to stop participating in the IPL. The sooner administrators get to grips with that reality, the sooner the revenue structure of international cricket will be rationalized. This is necessary to safeguard the international game.

  26. #25
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    A very inexperienced side and a number of non regulars. This kind of tours dont do pakistan any good. Beating them won't really test the actual ability of the players.

    I for one dont agree with the "Atleast they are touring" line.

  27. #26
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    PCB should cancel this tour and reschedule for when the likes of Williamson and Boult will be available. This is an insult.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Executioner View Post
    I honestly think it will serve both Bangladesh and Pakistan if they omit their series vs New Zealand and play a full fledged series with each other.
    Absolutely.

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmaverik84 View Post
    Well. Its a start and hopefully not a precedent. I think once the crowds are allowed and atmosphere gets electric like before, stars wouldnt mind coming in, provided they are made confident that there aren't any security issues. Also Pakistan need to whitewash these B teams and affect their ranking and put qualification in danger.
    Yea right. We cannot even whitewash Zimbabwe B or C team at home and you are expecting we can whitewash NZ B/C team. Winning 2 of 5 matches will be considered very good under 2 timid/unqualified/unskilled coaches.

  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SM1989 View Post
    PCB should cancel this tour and reschedule for when the likes of Williamson and Boult will be available. This is an insult.
    If NZ main team play we will be whitewashed even at home.

  31. #30
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    Although Pakistan is lacking superstars, I would still love for the PCB to send a squad without Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali and Mohammad Rizwan the next time they play New Zealand away.

    We are gonna lose anyways, might as well do it in a way that puts NZCB in trouble with their broadcasters

    Maybe they can build a rivalry between Kane Williamson and Abdullah Shafique

  32. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricketjoshila View Post
    A very inexperienced side and a number of non regulars. This kind of tours dont do pakistan any good. Beating them won't really test the actual ability of the players.

    I for one dont agree with the "Atleast they are touring" line.
    How about you ask BCCI to show some solidarity with international cricket for once and release the Kiwi players

  33. #32
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    Blundell, latham, Nichols, young and cdg is still potentially a quality line up

  34. #33
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    Everybody talking about c d grade cricketers , would love to see your reaction when this NZ team beats Pakistan. Again we are being spoken like we are prime india australia of the 90s, hate to break it to you guys but pakistan is no better than D team england or d team NZ or even D team south africa so lets focus on our own players getting some form and beating these teams comprehensively first before we start dictating which squad other teams need to bring to pakistan., at the moment thy are not the problem we are.

  35. #34
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    This is a quality line up and much like England ,reflects NZ's LOI depth. Absolutely exceptional...but I doubt they can do much in Asian conditions. Pakistan should take them apart.

  36. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    How about you ask BCCI to show some solidarity with international cricket for once and release the Kiwi players
    The present PCB BCCI relation will not allow that.

  37. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    How about you ask BCCI to show some solidarity with international cricket for once and release the Kiwi players
    Good thought, should happen in an ideal world but why would one jeopardize its own league for the benefit of others? Unlike with KPL, I don't think BCCI puts pressure on boards to choose IPL over Int. cricket. Of course the money is huge and boards get 10% ( I think) of players contracts. So it is the board and players that vote for money. And moreover at this point of time, IPL with its international quality would be more challenging than a Pak tour I would think. So yeah economics and cricket both favour the IPL.


    If he bowls with a full sleeve and is an off-spinner, rest assured he chucks. Amen

  38. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Monetarist View Post
    Cricket New Zealand doesn't pay its cricketers enough to impose restrictions on IPL participation. They have a tacit agreement with their players that international duty will not supersede IPL commitments. This is necessary for smaller boards to keep their players motivated, otherwise it'll be the regular discontent that one sees with the West Indies.

    In any case, modern day international white ball cricket isn't important enough to be telling players to stop participating in the IPL. The sooner administrators get to grips with that reality, the sooner the revenue structure of international cricket will be rationalized. This is necessary to safeguard the international game.
    True, but Pakistan's players don't get paid much either. If everyone were to start making such agreements, the international cricket scene would be ruined.

  39. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by UzmanBeast View Post
    True, but Pakistan's players don't get paid much either. If everyone were to start making such agreements, the international cricket scene would be ruined.
    Unfortunately, I think that's the future, & perhaps we're already there. International cricket will be scheduled around franchise cricket, rather than the other way around. ICC events and high-profile test series among the bigger nations will be all that remain before too long.

    The World Test Championship is actually vital to saving bilateral cricket as it stands. I'm not too hopeful about its future either.
    Last edited by Last Monetarist; 10th August 2021 at 17:39.

  40. #39
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    Just want to see a series. NZ can send any team they want.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  41. #40
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    No harm in playing against second string squad. I am not too sure on what basis we are demeaning the teams as B team or C or D teams. They may not be full strength teams but are pretty competitive in their own right.
    Just enjoy the return of cricket. Rest of things such as scheduling conflicts etc will sort themselves out as many of these conflicts occur due to pandemic and bubble too.

  42. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by shujaatraza View Post
    PCB has set a dangerous precedent where they are accepting B teams to play against them. Too many teams have played their B teams against us now.
    What is PCB supposed to do about it?

    The reality is that international players are choosing IPL over their country.

    All we can do as fans is switch off.

  43. #42
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    Depleted squads.

    Pakistan should crush these squads.


    Bangladeshi Man

  44. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Monetarist View Post
    Unfortunately, I think that's the future, & perhaps we're already there. International cricket will be scheduled around franchise cricket, rather than the other way around. ICC events and high-profile test series among the bigger nations will be all that remain before too long.

    The World Test Championship is actually vital to saving bilateral cricket as it stands. I'm not too hopeful about its future either.
    Unfortunately, you are right. I think the WTC is already hanging by a thin thread. The Big3 seem to only have a fleeting interest. The ICC would rather have nothing to do with it (which almost is the case). The non Big3 would rather cancel Test series and play T20's instead.

  45. #44
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    Pakistan should play second string players such as Abdullah,Saud Shakeel,Rohail Nazir,Wasim Jnr

  46. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweep_shot View Post
    Depleted squads.

    Pakistan should crush these squads.
    They should but they won't unfortunately

  47. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rana View Post
    Another Jobber bowling attack for Rizwan to inflate his stats
    Shame that Sharjeel still wont be able to do anything against the same attack

  48. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raja Ishtiaq View Post
    Shame that Sharjeel still wont be able to do anything against the same attack
    He might just blast an important hundred which will be criticised heavily by die hard Rizwan fans

  49. #48
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    I'm seeing a lot of salt on here, but the truth is that the NZC can't force its players to break from their IPL franchises and forego up to 80% of their annual earnings. KW probably wouldn't have toured anyway - he's had ongoing elbow issues, NZ will be wanting to rest him up for the World T20 as much as possible.

    Anyway, it's an exciting young NZ squad. I'm really interested to see how Rachin Ravindra and Ben Sears go. They're two outstanding talents. Sears is rated by Conway as having the potential to be one of the quickest bowlers in the world and Rachin has long been heralded as NZ's next great batsmen. Looking forward to the series.

  50. #49
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    To be honest Pakistan will have to play pretty poor cricket to lose this game.

  51. #50
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    No Kane Williamson?

  52. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by dravidthewall View Post
    No Kane Williamson?
    You need to read a few threads on this

    He will be playing IPL


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  53. #52
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    Black Caps coach Gary Stead backs his players to block out the noise and hype around next month’s Twenty20 World Cup opener against Pakistan, as the fallout continues a week on from their abandoned tour.

    Martin Guptill, Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, Todd Astle and Ish Sodhi are out of quarantine in Dubai, having farewelled their New Zealand-bound team-mates after a “specific and credible threat” saw the squad leave Pakistan last Sunday without playing any of their eight matches.

    Stead said batting coach Thilan Samaraweera and security consultant Reg Dickason remain with the five players in the United Arab Emirates, the Australian-based men unable to return home until early next month due to Covid-19 restrictions.

    Two wins from two for Kolkata Knight Riders as Black Caps speedster shines again.

    Anger and frustration continues to simmer in Pakistan, after New Zealand Cricket refused to elaborate on what sparked its decision, then England canned its scheduled men’s and women’s tours without citing a specific security risk.

    Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudry told reporters that Guptill received a pre-tour death threat sent to his wife, Laura. Chaudry claimed other emails were sent to New Zealand players from India, in “a campaign against international cricket”, AP reported.

    NZC chief executive David White said threats were sent to some players “a few weeks ago” and they were forwarded to its security provider. “[They] were proved to be a hoax and not credible,” White said last week.

    Stead remained in New Zealand as NZC manages player and management workloads in a long touring stretch, and told Stuff he was unaware of players receiving death threats. “Sometimes you don’t get made aware of everything, either. It’s really hard for me to comment on.”

    He said the five players who were meant to be starting a five-match T20 series in Pakistan were in good spirits and had begun training under Samaraweera in the UAE, where nine other cup squad members and travelling reserve Adam Milne are playing in the Indian Premier League.

    “I think they’re OK. It was obviously unsettling and disappointing what happened in Pakistan and we certainly feel for the Pakistan cricket fraternity and fans,” Stead said.

    “That decision was out of our hands, and the guys are now in Dubai and getting ready, and there’s the IPL that they can have a good look at, which in many ways is good preparation for them as well.”

    New Zealand have warmup matches against Australia on October 18, and England two days later, before their cup opener against Pakistan in Sharjah on October 27 (NZT). Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja implored his players to “vent your frustration and anger” against the Black Caps, two days after another big match against bitter rivals India.

    Said Stead: “Certainly, being that it’s Pakistan, people will hype that up, but for us it’s no different to any other match we play against them.”

    Stead and assistant coaches Shane Jurgensen and Luke Ronchi are scheduled to depart next Monday, October 4, along with Devon Conway the only cup squad member left in New Zealand. They must undergo six days of Covid quarantine on arrival.

    An instant star of world cricket, Conway only began hitting balls again last week after returning from England with a broken bone in his hand, and the coach said he was on target for their opening match. “It took a little bit longer than anticipated for the bone to knit back together but it’s all looking good now.”

    Kane Williamson and Gary Stead have to get their Black Caps side up and running for big early cup matches against Pakistan and India.
    Conway remained the backup wicketkeeper to Tim Seifert in the squad, Stead said, and would be looked at as a No 4 where he made a flying start to his T20I career, or potentially an opener depending on team balance.

    Milne was the unluckiest to miss the 15 after a compelling season in England and a hostile new ball start to the IPL in tandem with Trent Boult for Mumbai Indians.

    Stead said there was no more wriggle room with their 15 and Milne would only come in if there were injuries. Fellow quick Lockie Ferguson – who returned in fine style for Kolkata in their two wins last week – had back problems earlier in the year and Milne was included as cover. Mitchell Santner, Sodhi and Todd Astle are the three frontline spinners, with Astle’s inclusion meaning just four frontline quicks in the 15.

    “We need the variation across the three different venues that we will play at. I’m expecting the more the World Cup goes on, the more it’s going to suit the spinners as opposed to the pace bowlers. We’re happy with the squad that we’ve got,” Stead said.

    “Obviously it’s hard when you’ve got people like Adam who’s been left out and is a quality player and he’s playing some great cricket right now. There’s a number of good players that haven’t made our team.”

    Just five of the 10 Black Caps at the IPL appeared in the first week back, notably captain Kane Williamson who scored 18 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in his first competitive innings since the World Test Championship final in June.

    Santner and Tim Southee are two others who haven’t played since that test tour. Seifert and the in-form Glenn Phillips are coming off the Caribbean Premier League while Jimmy Neesham played in the UK.

    Having 10 of their squad at the IPL at the same venues as the World Cup provided valuable intel, but lack of game time may be an issue for some.

    At the last T20 World Cup in India in 2016, Williamson’s side lost to England in the semifinals and this time have a tough group including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and two other qualifiers.

    “Afghanistan have a number of mystery spinners and are very competent in turning conditions, and the other two qualifiers, it looks likely one will be Bangladesh who are playing in Asian conditions and will be tough.

    “All games that we play, there’s going to be a lot on it. I guess when you play those other teams [Pakistan and India] early in the tournament, they haven’t played many games either. You just have to be better on the day.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/cricke...unded-pakistan


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  54. #53
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    New Zealand coach Gary Stead is in no doubt captain Kane Williamson will be fit in time for the Black Caps’ opening match against Pakistan at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

    Williamson was left out of the Sunrisers Hyderabad XI for their final match of the Indian Premier League last week, and Stead has revealed the skipper had hurt his hamstring.

    However, he was quick to play down the chances of the injury hurting Williamson’s involvement in the T20 World Cup.

    “Kane's fine,” Stead told New Zealand Cricket. “He's just had a very, very slight hamstring twinge, but he's getting through everything at the moment, he's feeling good.

    “They [Sunrisers Hyderabad] were out of the competition as well, so I'm not sure if that was something he had to play in.”

    Williamson arrived at New Zealand’s camp in Dubai from the IPL. He was not the only recent arrival, with squad members James Neesham and Adam Milne joining the group from the Mumbai Indians alongside Shane Bond.

    Former fast bowler Bond, with the squad as the ‘fourth coach’, is serving a somewhat surprise role, focusing on the team’s spin bowlers and assisting bowling coach Shane Jurgensen.

    "So, Bondie came in, in the last couple of days as well, when Mumbai were knocked out," Stead said. "He's working specifically with the spin bowlers in the tournament for us as well. So, he's been great and it provides another set of hands for Shane [Jurgensen] when you look at a large number in squad are bowlers. He's working with the spinners, in particular, and just around their strategies."

    With two weeks to go before New Zealand play their first match of the tournament against Pakistan, Stead is using the lead-up to the match to get his squad accustomed to the heat of the United Arab Emirates.

    “Today we’ve probably trained in the hottest part of the day. Two o’clock we start and it’s somewhere between 35 and 38 degrees probably. You can feel you burn pretty quick. We’ve just got to keep the fluids up.

    “A little bit of shock therapy and getting get people back into the hot weather and working hard. Then also and then just making sure we manage guys in the next wee-while and be clear around our training and what we’re trying to achieve. We’re certainly not doing it to try and cook people.”

    https://www.t20worldcup.com/news/2287717


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  55. #54
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    Kane Williamson has revealed he is still battling an elbow injury going into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup but is confident it will not sideline him.

    Williamson has been nagged by elbow complaints since early 2021, missing New Zealand’s ODI series against Bangladesh in March, the first half of the Indian Premier League and a June Test against England as a result.

    He also missed Sunrisers Hyderabad’s final match of the IPL season due to a hamstring injury but in positive news for the Black Caps, he said that was no longer an issue.

    "The hamstring is minor, it's progressing nicely, so not too many concerns and we've still got plenty of time," Williamson said on Thursday. "So, yeah, hopefully in the next sort of few days or so, I'm taking basically full part in the training. So, it's all good.

    "The elbow - it has just been a bit of a slow-burner. Yeah, it has been quite frustrating for a long period of time. However, it has definitely improved a bit over the last two months I've had after the World Test Championship.

    "On rehab, it has definitely seemed to move forward, which is refreshing, but still a little bit of time to get back to a 100 [%], but it's definitely better."

    Williamson said while there will be some load management at training through the campaign to help him deal with the elbow niggle, he does not expect it to sideline him.

    The New Zealand captain said the injury has improved noticeably over the past few months but remained a frustrating ailment.

    "Basically just gripping and then extending," Williamson said. "So, which you do a lot of obviously batting and it has been frustrating certainly when it was at its worst. But the harder you grip and further you extend, the more it seems to be quite disruptive.

    “Like I said there's been a lot of improvement over the last three months, which is good. That has really been the focus and I'm at the stage where I'm largely about to get through with some comfort and it's nice to be able to focus a bit more on the cricketing side of things rather than having constant negotiations with physios."

    The Black Caps are chasing their first T20 World Cup trophy and know it won’t be easy to attain it. With that in mind, they’ll be focusing on the key tenet that has always driven the side.

    “Any World Cup is always tough, particularly the T20 World Cup. There are match-winners in every team and anybody can truly beat anybody and for us, we want to continue the path of growth and improve as a side and make those adjustments.

    “There are very little promises in this game, but we want to continue to get better as a side and hope that holds us in good stead. That'll be our focus and that will be important for us in this tournament.”

    New Zealand play their first warm-up match on 18 October before starting their campaign on 26 October.


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  56. #55
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    Kane Williamson feels several match winners across teams adds to the intrigue

    Expect the unexpected was the main message from Kane Williamson ahead of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with the New Zealand captain insisting ‘anything can happen’.

    The Black Caps are still searching for their first title in the shortest format, having previously reached the semi-final stages in the inaugural tournament in 2007 and again in 2016.

    Their recent form in global tournaments suggests they will be tough to beat, having only narrowly lost out to England in the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 before claiming the inaugural ICC World Test Championship this year.

    But speaking in the pre-event captains’ media sessions, Williamson warned that the calibre of match-winners throughout the tournament means nothing can be taken for granted.

    “It’s an amazing competition and it’s obviously been a long time coming. There are match-winners throughout and anyone can beat anyone on the day,” said Williamson.

    “There are going to be a number of challenges along the way. It’s a pretty short tournament so you want to hit the ground running, you want to try and get a bit of momentum early.

    “But in these world events when you’re playing a different opposition every three days at a different venue there’s some adjustments to make quite quickly.

    “Having a world event is always an exciting opportunity to showcase all the talent around the world and the T20 format naturally makes things exciting and ultra-competitive.

    “The match-winners that are in every side that are involved in this tournament means that on any given day anything can happen. It’s a fantastic event and one all teams are looking forward to.”

    Another team going in search of their first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title are Australia, who were defeated in the semi-finals by eventual champions India in the very first edition in 2007.

    The cricketing superpowers reached the final three years later but fell at the last hurdle to England while they also lost to the eventual champions in 2012 as the West Indies won their semi-final match.

    And while they failed to reach the knockout stages in both 2014 and 2016, captain Aaron Finch believes his squad possesses the talent to finally end their T20 drought.

    “It would be huge, obviously it is the one that has eluded us, we have been close a couple of times but we’ve also been quite a distance off in other times,” said Finch.

    “We’re still very confident going into it. We’ve got a group here that has played a lot of T20, not a huge amount together, and guys are at different stages of their preparation.

    “It comes down to getting it done on the day. Every team can win any game, we know that in T20 cricket, there’s match-winners right across board so we just have to turn up at the right time.”

    Like Australia and New Zealand, South Africa have competed at every ICC Men’s T20 World Cup but have yet to lift the trophy, reaching the semi-finals in 2009 and 2014.

    However, the Proteas have the No.1 ranked bowler in the format, with no player in world cricket taking more wickets in T20Is this year than 31-year-old wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

    A series win over defending champions West Indies in the summer also suggests they are finding form at just the right time and skipper Temba Bavuma is quietly confident about their chances.

    “We’ve had a lot of cricket and we’ve also had some positive results, which has been good for our confidence as a team especially with us being a young fairly inexperienced side,” he said.

    “The opportunity for guys to play with each other, get to know each other, has been good and I think we’ll be taking all those learnings and lessons forward and putting them to good use.

    “As a unit there’s probably not as much expectation from people from the outside without all the big names but for us as a team there is a certain level of expectation on us as a team.

    “We are definitely not coming to fill in a number or anything like that. We’ve done our work as a collective, that’s the main thing for us and that’s our main focus.”

    Papua New Guinea are one of two teams making their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup debut in the UAE and Oman, securing their place through the 2019 ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier.

    And after near-misses in their qualification attempts for the 2014 and 2016 editions, skipper Assad Vala said their maiden appearance will be a special moment for his country.

    “It’s a really proud moment for myself and the boys, it’s been a long time coming. We’ve come so close on so many occasions and we’re just looking forward to playing our first match,” he said.

    “It means a lot to the people back home. For us we’re just trying to play well and put in a performance that puts a smile on everyone’s face, starting with the game against Oman.”

    Namibia are the other debutants at the 2021 edition and ahead of their opening match against 2014 champions Sri Lanka, captain Gerhard Erasmus paid tribute to those behind the scenes.

    “We’ve gone through a period of three years now where we’ve played some good cricket and transformed our cricket brand and as a country it’s something we can be proud of,” he said.

    “This T20 World Cup is a celebration of that for us. There are lots of people working hard behind the scenes, the administration and family members, lots of people we can be thankful for.

    “There are lots of people over the years that have put in hard work into cricket in Namibia, sometimes it can be a thankless job, but we know those individuals and the fans back home are very proud of this team and hopefully we can give something back.”


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  57. #56
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    From Cricket World Cups to T20 World Cups to World Test Championships, the Black Caps have been backed to perform at pretty much every ICC event for the past decade but rarely considered the serious contenders for silverware that they should be.

    In this year's tournament, however, they will not be coming in under the radar. ICC Men's Cricket World Cup runners up in 2019 and 2015, and semi-finalists at the last ICC Men's T20 World Cup, New Zealand ended a 21-year-wait for success at a men's ICC event with victory over India at the World Test Championship Final.

    That taste of silverware could prove a starting point for success across all formats, particularly given how many members of that Test squad will be involved in the UAE.

    Often revered for their versatility and innovation as a unit, New Zealand come to this year’s tournament as a world-class outfit, boasting depth in the squad and quality in key areas. Beefing up their batting stocks through the emergence of players like Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway, their stocks with the ball could deliver just like they did in Southampton in whites.

    New Zealand boast a markedly stronger bowling attack on paper than their squad five years ago, with the likes of Trent Boult and Tim Southee honing their short-form craft, and Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner now able to draw on 57 and 52 T20 international appearances respectively.

    In spite of this, it’s tough to gauge New Zealand’s form heading into the tournament, given the cancellation of their series in Pakistan, and a number of players rested for their tour of Bangladesh. The Black Caps were better on balance against Trans-Tasman rivals Australia earlier in the year, and against defending World Cup champions, the West Indies, at the back end of 2020.

    Preparations for the campaign have been far from ideal for Kane Williamson’s men. For those not playing franchise cricket, a training camp in UAE has begun earlier than scheduled, ahead of warm-up matches and their opener on October 26.

    New Zealand will begin their campaign against Pakistan, with neither team able to draw on teachings from the five cancelled matches in late September and early October. Factoring in the presence of India in their pair’s group, the match carries extra significance, with the pair potentially battling for a semi-final spot.

    The squad
    Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

    Reserves: Adam Milne

    Their fixtures
    26 Oct – v Pakistan

    31 Oct – v India

    3 Nov – v B1

    5 Nov – v A2

    7 Nov – v Afghanistan

    Tournament history
    Best finish: Semi-finalists (2007 and 2016)

    The Black Caps were surprise packets at the inaugural tournament, recovering from an opening match defeat to Sri Lanka in the Group Stage to qualify for the Super 8 phase, where they defeated eventual champions India. Falling to second in the four-team group on net run rate despite the victory, New Zealand were run down by Pakistan in the first semi-final, losing by six wickets in the penultimate over of the match.

    New Zealand went unbeaten in a stacked Group 2 during the 2016 campaign, highlighted by a surprise victory over hosts India, winning by 47 runs in a defence of just 126. Beating Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, New Zealand’s campaign was thwarted by a rampant England, who chased a target of 154 down with 7 wickets in hand and 17 balls to spare.

    Look out for
    Devon Conway

    An all-format revelation for New Zealand in the past 12 months, it was in the game’s shortest international format where Conway first showed his class, compiling 41 off 29 balls with five fours and a six against the West Indies in a successful chase.

    Showing his class against the defending World Cup champions again with an unbeaten 65 from 37 balls, Conway has answered every question asked of him thus far, making fifties against all four opponents he has faced. Falling agonisingly short of a century in February against Australia in a knock of 99* from 59 balls, Conway has been dismissed for single figures just twice in 11 innings and lays claim to a strike rate of 151.11.

    The left-hander gives the Black Caps a much-needed batting boost, and opposing captains are yet to develop a plan to thwart the 30-year-old.

    Key player
    Trent Boult

    Five years on from their last campaign, Boult has cemented himself as a true three-format bowler, with success in the shortest form (the final feather in the cap). Mostly bowling in the Powerplay, the 32-year-old’s ability to swing the white ball will dictate New Zealand’s success, with the odd death over thrown in for good measure.

    Taking a wicket inside every three overs at T20I level, Boult has also developed his run-saving abilities in recent years, with an economy of 8.14 since January 2020, down from 8.64 in the first six years of his international career.

    Big match
    Pakistan - with India looking the favourites in Group 2 of the Super 12 phase, the Black Caps could be tussling with Pakistan for a final four spot.

    It will be crucial for Kane Williamson’s men to hit the ground running in Sharjah in their tournament opener against Pakistan, who will have already played India. New Zealand lost all three T20Is between the teams in UAE back in late 2018, though the matches were held away from Sharjah, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. New Zealand have not played a T20I at the venue previously.


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