LONDON (Agencies): Tom Latham will play T20 internationals for the first time since 2021 when he leads New Zealand in the T20I series at home against Sri Lanka, and away against Pakistan, in April.
T20I regulars like the captain Tim Southee, Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Devon Conway, Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell and Lockie Ferguson were not picked because they have been given clearance to play the IPL starting March 31.
“We saw against India earlier this season the power and range of shots that Tom possesses,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said about Latham’s return to the format. “His adaptability also means he can feature in a range of batting positions. He led an inexperienced T20 squad to Bangladesh in 2021 and we were really impressed with his leadership of that group during a COVID bubble tour.” The squads include two uncapped players – Chad Bowes and Henry Shipley – while Jimmy Neesham returns after missing the T20I series in India and the home ODIs against Sri Lanka to play the SA20 and PSL. Shipley was part of the T20I squad that travelled to India earlier this year, but Bowes was selected for the first time in the format after his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Auckland.
The squad for the home T20Is against Sri Lanka comprises 13 players, and includes Tim Seifert, who won’t travel to Pakistan as he and his wife await the birth of their first child. Dane Cleaver, Cole McConchie, Blair Tickner will join the squad of 15 for the tour of Pakistan.
“We’ve got players returning and guys potentially making their debuts, that’s a really exciting mix to have in the group for these matches. Players like Tim and Cole haven’t been around the squad for little while and I am sure they will bring good energy when they are involved. They have both earned their selection with strong domestic form this season.”
After the home T20Is against Sri Lanka, coach Stead will take a break during the T20Is in Pakistan and rejoin the squad for the five-ODI series that begins in Rawalpindi on April 26. Shane Jurgensen will lead the coaching staff for the three T20Is in Pakistan.
New Zealand squad for Sri Lanka T20Is: Tom Latham (capt & wk), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Seifert, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Will Young
New Zealand squad for T20Is in Pakistan: Tom Latham (capt & wk), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Seifert, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Will Young, Dane Cleaver, Cole McConchie, Blair Tickner