Kane Williamson NZ

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) unveiled a formidable 15-man squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, to be jointly hosted by the USA and the West Indies. The team will be led once again by the experienced Kane Williamson.

A key inclusion is Matt Henry, who finds himself on the World Cup stage for the first time. The 32-year-old pacer, currently showcasing his skills with the Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, has impressed selectors with his improved bowling in the T20 format since his recall last year.

“Matt’s dedication to refining his skills across all phases of a T20 match has been commendable,” said head coach Gary Stead, highlighting Henry’s hard work.

With Adam Milne ruled out due to an ankle injury, Henry edged out Ben Sears for the final spot in the pace attack. The bowling department boasts a wealth of experience with Tim Southee and Trent Boult, gearing up for their seventh and fifth T20 World Cups respectively, alongside Lockie Ferguson.

Devon Conway, recovering from a thumb injury, is likely to take the wicketkeeping duties ahead of Finn Allen. Tim Seifert and Tom Blundell miss out on selection.

Michael Bracewell, who led New Zealand to a draw in the recent T20I series against Pakistan, makes a welcome return to the World Cup squad after missing most of 2023, including the 50-over edition.

The all-rounder options are well-covered with Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell offering pace-bowling capabilities, while Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, and Mark Chapman can contribute with their bowling in spin-friendly Caribbean and US conditions.

The spin duo of Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi reunite, providing experience in the department. Joining Henry for his debut is Ravindra, who impressed everyone with three centuries in last year’s ODI World Cup.

“Rachin has consistently delivered over the past year, and it was pleasing to see him continue that form against Australia in the T20 series this summer,” said Stead, commending the young talent.

Luke Ronchi joins the support staff as the batting coach, while Jacob Oram takes charge of the bowling unit. James Foster will act as the assistant coach, focusing on fielding, according to the NZC release.

The New Zealand team will depart for the tournament on May 23rd, with their campaign kicking off against Afghanistan in Guyana on June 7th.

Squad: Kane Williamson(c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee [Ben Sears – Travelling Reserve]