A 16-man squad will travel to Cape Town, South Africa in March for seven games in the second edition of this tournament.
The team will be led by Auckland’s Adrian Dale, a former county pro in the UK who was New Zealand’s top run-scorer at the 2018 Over-50s World Cup.
The squad includes six other members of the 2018 group, including star ‘keeper-batsman Mason Robinson and all-rounder Richard Petrie.
Robinson is New Zealand’s all-time top run-scorer at over-50s level (342 runs at 57) and is the world’s leading over-50s wicket-keeper, while former BLACKCAP Petrie averaged 112 with the bat at the 2018 World Cup and 102 at the Inter-Provincial Tournament (IPT) that concluded earlier this week.
Auckland’s Dean Askew shows no signs of slowing down, even at 57, and he was consistently the fastest bowler at the IPT.
Wanganui’s Martin Pennefather was one of the top bowlers at the IPT and continues to perform late-order heroics with the bat. Canterbury legend Andrew Nuttall – at 62 the oldest player at the IPT – is as accurate and canny as ever, while Nelson’s David Leonard played some crucial middle-order innings for the victorious Wellington/Tasman Firehawks.
Among the nine new faces are four South Islanders: former Otago opener Andrew Hore, who batted aggressively in the IPT, fellow top-order batsman John Garry from Canterbury, and the aggressive middle-order pair of Kelvin Scott and Dean Read.
Auckland provides three of the newcomers, despite the team only finishing third at the IPT. Jon Cleland scored a fine 86 in the first round and bowls bustling left-arm pace, while Neil Ronaldson hit 142 runs in his three innings, with 10 sixes and a strike rate of 156. Left-arm spinner Glen White (former Wellington Shell Cup player) bowls tightly and cleverly.
One of the bolters in the squad is tall Wellington off-spinner Stephen Hewson, who emerged as the most economical bowler at the IPT (including one spell of 2/12 off 9 overs), despite having a broken spinning finger throughout the tournament.
Northland’s Bert Horner rounds out the 16. Horner, a ‘keeper-batsman, played for the full Northland squad as recently as three seasons ago (aged 49) and was the second leading run-scorer in the IPT, with 180 runs at 90, including a match-winning 79* in the first round.
Four reserves have been named as well: Craig Gibb (Canterbury), Mike Jamieson (Auckland), Andrew Lees (Auckland), and Dave Fulton (Manawatu).
The World Cup will be played over 15 days on the best grounds in Cape Town, with the final to be held at the famous Newlands Stadium.
New Zealand’s pool is comprised of a West Indies side that will include Carl Hooper and a raft of other former first-class players, Zimbabwe (featuring Eddo Brandes, Neil Johnson, etc.), Sri Lanka, Canada, and defending champions Australia. Each team plays each other, and the top two sides progress to the semi-finals.
While it is not a “celebrity” tournament, there are likely to be a few big names. Apart from Hooper, Brandes, Johnson, et al., mentioned above, players such as Jonty Rhodes, Alan Donald and Meyrick Pringle may feature in the South African side, while the England team has recently included Mark Alleyne, and Pakistan brought four ex-internationals to the last World Cup and will probably do the same this time.
New Zealand’s first match is on March 11, 2020 against West Indies.
The full New Zealand squad is:
Adrian Dale (Auckland) – captain
Dean Askew (Auckland)
Jon Cleland (Auckland)
John Garry (Canterbury)
Stephen Hewson (Wellington)
Andrew Hore (Otago)
Bert Horner (Northland)
David Leonard (Nelson)
Andrew Nuttall (Canterbury)
Martin Pennefather (Wanganui)
Richard Petrie (Wellington)
Dean Read (Canterbury)
Mason Robinson (Nelson)
Neil Ronaldson (Auckland)
Kelvin Scott (Canterbury)
Glen White (Auckland)
Team manager: Dave Robertson
Scorer: Richard Horner
Sports therapist: Nicki Cooke
Tour manager: Jim Morrison