BLACKCAPS batsman Martin Guptill has been honoured by his old school, Avondale College in Auckland, on being selected for a record 7th ICC T20 World Cup.
The 35-year-old’s inclusion was part of a largely predictable 15-player squad, announced at Guptill’s former high school, for the T20 showpiece in Australia next month.
Wellington Firebirds duo Finn Allen and Michael Bracewell have been named for their first senior World Cups and are the only new faces from the side that made the final of last year’s event in the UAE.
Paceman Adam Milne has retained his place in the squad, after the 30-year-old was called in to replace Lockie Ferguson (calf injury) early in the tournament last October.
Devon Conway has been named as the front-line wicket-keeper after wearing the gloves in the UAE and the recent series against West Indies.
Of those who featured in last year’s World Cup squad, Kyle Jamieson wasn’t considered as he continues his rehabilitation from a back injury, while Todd Astle and Tim Seifert have missed selection.
The BLACKCAPS T20 World Cup squad will first contest the T20 Tri Series with Pakistan and Bangladesh starting in Christchurch on October 7.
With seven matches across eight days at Hagley Oval, the Tri Series will provide fans their last chance to see the team before they depart for Australia on October 15.
BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead said the side was excited about the opportunity that lay ahead.
“It’s always a special time announcing a World Cup squad and I’d like to congratulate the 15 players selected today.” he said.
“It’s especially exciting for Finn and Michael who are set for their first ICC events, while Martin Guptill is preparing for his 7th T20 World Cup - which in itself is an incredible achievement.
“It’s great to have this tournament so soon after last year’s event in which we played some really good cricket, but couldn’t quite get over the line at the end.
“With the nucleus of that squad retained along with the exciting additions of Finn and Michael, we should go into the tournament with plenty of optimism.”
Stead said the Tri Series beforehand should provide high quality preparation for the World Cup.
“Along with the all-important game time, those matches will be a great chance to refine our combinations and game-plans ahead of our departure to Australia.”
The BLACKCAPS open their T20 World Cup campaign against Australia at the SCG on Saturday October 22, before facing Afghanistan (MCG), England (Gabba) and two qualifiers at the SCG and Adelaide Oval respectively.
BLACKCAPS Squad for ICC T20 World Cup and Tri Series
Kane Williamson (c)
Devon Conway (wk)
Stead said there was a high level of excitement amongst the team about the prospect of big crowds returning for the event following a Covid-affected 2021 edition.
“We’re hoping plenty of Kiwis will make the trip across the ditch to support us, along with our fans already living in Australia.
“Playing at the great grounds such as the SCG, MCG, the Gabba and the Adelaide Oval will be occasions to savour and something I know our boys are really looking forward to.”
Guptill’s selection for his seventh T20 World Cup sees him join an exclusive list of players in Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim - while Shakib Al-Hasan and Rohit Sharma are set for their eighth events.
Nathan McCullum and Ross Taylor are the only other New Zealanders to have appeared at six T20 World Cups.
The BLACKCAPS assemble in Christchurch for the Tri Series on October 5.
T20 Tri Series in Christchurch
Fri Oct 7 – Bangladesh v Pakistani – 3pm
Sat Oct 8 – BLACKCAPS v Pakistan – 7pm
Sun Oct 9 – BLACKCAPS v Bangladesh – 7pm
Tues Oct 11 - BLACKCAPS v Pakistan – 3pm
Weds Oct 12 – BLACKCAPS v Bangladesh – 3pm
Thurs Oct 13 – Bangladesh v Pakistan – 3pm
Fri Oct 14 – T20 Tri Series Final – 3pm
Sat Oct 15 – BLACKCAPS depart for Australia from Christchurch
BLACKCAPS ICC T20 World Cup Schedule (Local Times)
Mon 17 Oct v South Africa – Allan Border field – 2pm
Weds 19 Oct v India – The Gabba – 6pm
Sat 22 Oct v Australia – SCG – 6pm
Weds 26 Oct v Afghanistan – MCG – 7pm
Sat 29 Oct v Qualifier A1 – SCG – 7pm
Tues 1 Nov v England - The Gabba – 6pm
Fri 4 Nov v Qualifier B2 – Adelaide Oval – 2.30pm