Ace batter Kane Williamson returned to the T20I setup as New Zealand announced a 13-member squad for the forthcoming three-match T20I series against Bangladesh, starting on December 27. He will captain the side after a year-long hiatus from the format.
The 33-year-old is rested along with opener Devon Conway in the ongoing ODIs against Bangladesh as per workload management. Michael Bracewell (Achilles), Lockie Ferguson (Achilles), Matt Henry (hamstring), and Henry Shipley (back) were all injured while fast bowler Trent Boult made himself unavailable for selection for the T20I series.
“It’s great to be able to finish off a busy year that started on the road by having the group together in New Zealand. We’ve played T20 cricket in a wide variety of conditions this year and it’s been great to see a broad range of players making contributions,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.
“Tim Seifert, as an example, returned to the side in a specific role at the top of the order and made significant contributions in each series he was part of. With a World Cup in the middle of next year, we’re well into our planning in terms of both the tournament and the type of squad we might need in the conditions.”
“While we’re advanced in our planning, as we saw with the one-day World Cup squad this year with the likes of Mark Chapman and Rachin Ravindra – there is certainly still time for players to come into that mix,” he added.
Kane Williamson last played a T20I game during the home series against India in November 2022. Following an injury during the opening game of the 2023 Indian Premier League, he made a comeback to international cricket during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in October and November in India. Apart from Williamson, allrounder James Neesham also returned to the T20I squad after missing Kiwis’ last T20I series, in England in September this year.
New Zealand’s T20I squad:
Kane Williamson (C), Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee