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Ashok & Foxcroft earn maiden call ups | Jamieson returns from injury

Two potential debutants in their early twenties have been called up to the BLACKCAPS for next month’s T20 tours of the UAE and England, alongside returning pace-bowling star Kyle Jamieson.

Otago Volts batting all-rounder Dean Foxcroft and 20-year-old Auckland Aces leg-spinner Adi Ashok have earned their maiden call-ups off the back of representing New Zealand A and impressive domestic form, while Jamieson is set to return to international cricket more than a year after sustaining a serious back injury in England last June.

Born in South Africa, Foxcroft moved to New Zealand in 2016 and is a newly qualified player for the BLACKCAPS, having recently received eligibility approval from the ICC under its “exceptional circumstances” criteria.

The 25-year-old was crowned NZC’s Domestic Player of the Year at the annual awards in March after dominating the men’s Dream11 Super Smash, where he finished as the leading runs-scorer (424) and also claimed nine wickets with the ball at an impressive economy rate of less than seven runs per over.

Ashok, a former New Zealand U19 rep, was a consistent performer for the Aces in the Super Smash, claiming seven wickets and producing match-turning spells.

Jamieson’s return is major milestone for the ICC World Test Championship 2021 Player of the Final, who was forced to undergo surgery in February after a stress-fracture was discovered in his back ahead of the home Test series against England.

The three players have been included in a somewhat fresh looking 15-strong squad for the three T20Is in Dubai on August 17, 19 and 20.

The tour party, which will be captained by Tim Southee, will expand to 22 players in England - with Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Glenn Phillips, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell and Ish Sodhi joining post-The Hundred and ahead of the first T20I in Durham on August 30.

Ashok, Chad Bowes, Dane Cleaver, Foxcroft, Cole McConchie, Henry Shipley and Will Young will be replaced by the incoming players expected to join pre or post the two warm-up games scheduled for August 25 and 27 in Worcester and Bristol.

Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner have also secured short term deals to play in the final games of The Hundred competition which fall between the UAE and England T20I series.

Tim Seifert’s KFC Player of the T20 Series efforts against Sri Lanka at the end of the New Zealand home summer have seen him rewarded with his selection for both tours along with Rachin Ravindra and Mark Chapman, both of whom impressed against Sri Lanka and on the away tour to Pakistan in April-May.

BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead acknowledged the upcoming T20 tours were a look to the future and a great chance to build on the encouraging recent series at home and away.

“It’s always exciting to introduce new players to the BLACKCAPS environment and especially so when they’re on the younger side, as Adi and Dean are,” Stead said.

“Dean’s been a really consistent performer domestically and that was acknowledged by the awards he picked up in March. He’s a talented and adaptable batter who also bowls useful off-spin - so will add to our spinning stocks which is always valued in white-ball cricket.

“Adi’s only in his second year of professional cricket, but we’ve been impressed with his consistency and attitude with the Aces and when he’s joined New Zealand A and the winter camps. With Ish Sodhi not on the UAE tour it’s an opportunity to develop our next leg-spinner.

“Kyle’s worked really hard and made great progress to be available for this tour and we’re delighted to see him return after such a challenging year. We’re all aware of his world class skills and I know he’s really excited to get back with the group.”

While there’s been no international cricket for the team since May, Stead said the majority of the players have managed to play in overseas leagues and UK county cricket, which would help with their preparation.

“At the end of the day you can’t beat match-practice to ready yourself for international cricket and it’s certainly been encouraging to see guys like Ish Sodhi and Matt Henry play such starring roles as they did for Somerset in winning the T20 Blast earlier this week.

“It’s going to be a busy period for our wider group moving forward with three back-to-back away tours before the Cricket World Cup in India in October-November.

“These two T20 series will be a great opportunity to bring our short-form players together as we look to build to the next T20 World Cup which is the West Indies and America next June.”

BLACKCAPS T20 Squad for UAE and England

Tim Southee (c)
Finn Allen (Eng)
Adi Ashok (UAE)
Chad Bowes (UAE)
Mark Chapman
Dane Cleaver (UAE)
Devon Conway (Eng)
Lockie Ferguson
Dean Foxcroft (UAE)
Matt Henry (Eng)
Kyle Jamieson
Cole McConchie (UAE)
Adam Milne (Eng)
Daryl Mitchell (Eng)
Jimmy Neesham
Glenn Phillips (Eng)
Rachin Ravindra
Mitchell Santner
Tim Seifert
Henry Shipley (UAE)
Ish Sodhi (Eng)
Will Young (UAE)

*The players selected for the UAE series only will also travel to England for the T20 warm-ups.

Kane Williamson (knee) and Michael Bracewell (achilles) were not considered for selection due to injury.

The BLACKCAPS will hold a training camp next Wednesday through to Friday (July 26-28) in Mount Maunganui for those players in the country.

The T20 squad will depart for the UAE on Saturday August 12.

BLACKCAPS T20 Tour Schedule

Aug 17 – 1st T20I v UAE – Dubai
Aug 19 – 2nd T20I v UAE – Dubai
Aug 20 – 3rd T20I v UAE – Dubai

Aug 25 – warm-up T20 – Worcester
Aug 27 – warm-up T20 – Bristol

Aug 30 – 1st T20I v England – Durham
Sept 1 – 2nd T20I v England – Manchester
Sept 3 – 3rd T20I v England – Birmingham
Sept 5 – 4th T20I v England – Nottingham






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