NZ in WI 2022 – Kane Williamson, Trent Boult and Tim Southee return to full-strength white-ball squad

New Zealand have picked a full-strength squad for their white-ball tour of the West Indies, with six of their senior players including captain Kane Williamson returning after being rested for the latter parts of the team’s ongoing tour of Europe.
Williamson, Trent Boult, Devon Conway and Tim Southee all returned home following the three-match Test series in England, which ended in late June, and Tom Latham followed them after captaining the side in the ODI series in Ireland. Matt Henry‘s tour also ended after the Ireland ODIs, following which he left the squad to play for Kent in county cricket.

All of them are now back for the West Indies tour, with the selectors naming the same 15-member squad for both the T20I and ODI legs. The tour will begin with three T20Is in Jamaica, starting August 10, followed by three ODIs in Barbados.

With New Zealand’s preparations for the T20 World Cup – which is set to begin in Australia in October – now in full swing, some of the senior players will be returning to white-ball cricket after significant gaps. Williamson’s case, due to a combination of being rested and suffering from persistent injuries, has been particularly extreme. His last T20I was the final of last year’s T20 World Cup, which New Zealand lost to Australia, while his last ODI came in March 2020, in the final men’s international game before cricket came to a global halt thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The return of the senior six means there is no place in the squad for Henry Nicholls, Will Young, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Jacob Duffy, Michael Rippon, Ben Sears and Blair Tickner, who have all been involved at some point during the white-ball tours of Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands.

Adam Milne, who was ruled out of the Europe tour with an Achilles injury after being originally selected in both white-ball squads, has not been selected for the West Indies tour – presumably because he still hasn’t recovered fully, though the NZC release announcing the squad did not mention a reason for his absence.
“It’s always exciting to be heading somewhere you’ve not been in a while and I know this group can’t wait for the challenge of taking on the West Indies in the Caribbean,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said.

“Managing workloads is hugely important this year with the team playing some form of cricket every month in 2022 – and this applies to both players and staff.

“For Kane, Trent, Tim and Devon, this will be the first time they have played white-ball cricket for New Zealand since last year’s T20 World Cup and tour to India – so this trip will be important for them.

“We also have players such as Michael [Bracewell] and Finn [Allen] who are relatively new to the international stage but have really put their hands up for selection when given opportunities.

“As a selector it’s been great to see these guys push their cases.”

Stead will be assisted by former New Zealand internationals Dean Brownlie (batting coach) and Graeme Aldridge (bowling coach) during the West Indies tour.

New Zealand are currently in Scotland, where they will play two T20Is on July 27 and 29 followed by a one-off ODI on July 31. They will then depart for the Netherlands, where they play back-to-back T20Is on August 4 and 5, before the players who are part of the West Indies tour depart for the Caribbean.

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