Auckland Aces left-arm swing bowler Ben Lister is set for a potential international debut after being selected in the BLACKCAPS T20 Squad to tour India later this month.
The selection is Lister’s first in a BLACKCAPS squad and it comes after he made his New Zealand A debut late last year in India, and was named Auckland Cricket’s Men’s Bowler of the Year last season.
The 27-year-old’s tour to India with New Zealand A was cut short after he was struck down with pneumonia in Bangalore. The infection saw him spend time in hospital before returning home to New Zealand to continue his recovery.
Mitchell Santner will lead the squad that features an experienced T20 core including nine players from last year’s ICC T20 World Cup squad, along with a range of players newer to international cricket.
They include Canterbury Kings all-rounder Henry Shipley fresh from his international debut in the team’s current ODI Series against Pakistan.
The squad also sees Otago Volts leg-spinning all-rounder Michael Rippon feature in a BLACKCAPS squad for the first time since his debut against Scotland on last year’s European Tour.
BLACKCAPS selector Gavin Larsen said Lister had impressed with his range of skills across the formats.
“Ben has made an exciting impact for Auckland early in his career in red and white ball cricket. Since his debut in late 2017, he is the Aces’ leading wicket taker in T20 and List A cricket.”
“His ability to swing the ball considerably as a left-armer is particularly exciting.”
“We all felt for Ben after his tour ended the way it did last year, and it’s a testament to his work ethic that he’s been able to return to domestic cricket so strongly this season.”
BLACKCAPS T20 Squad to tour India
Mitchell Santner (C) (Northern Brave)
Finn Allen (Wellington Firebirds)
Michael Bracewell (Wellington Firebirds)
Mark Chapman (Auckland Aces)
Dane Cleaver (Central Stags)
Devon Conway (Wellington Firebirds)
Jacob Duffy (Otago Volts)
Lockie Ferguson (Auckland Aces)
Ben Lister* (Auckland Aces)
Daryl Mitchell (Canterbury Kings)
Glenn Phillips (Otago Volts)
Michael Rippon (Otago Volts)
Henry Shipley* (Canterbury Kings)
Ish Sodhi (Canterbury Kings)
Blair Tickner (Central Stags)
*Potential T20I debut
Larsen noted that Mitchell Santner had impressed in his previous opportunities as captain of the T20 team.
“Mitch is a leader in our white ball teams and has captained the T20 side in India before. His experience in Indian conditions will be invaluable leading this group.”
Auckland Aces bowler Kyle Jamieson (back), Canterbury Kings bowler Matt Henry (abdominal) and Wellington Firebirds bowlers Adam Milne (side) and Ben Sears (back) were also unavailable for selection as they continue to recover from or manage injuries.
Continuing from the India ODI series Luke Ronchi will be head-coach with the squad with assistance from NZC network coaches Bob Carter (batting) and Paul Wiseman (bowling) along with Trevor Penney as fourth coach.
The T20 series against India starts in Ranchi on Friday January 27.