BLACKCAPS Neil Wagner and Devon Conway will get an early look at the touring Bangladesh team when they play for the New Zealand XI in a two-day match on the 28th and 29th of December on Bay Oval’s number two ground.
Both players have been selected in the side to get some much needed cricket under their belt ahead of the Walton Test Series against Bangladesh, starting on January 1 at Bay Oval.
Wagner is primed for a return to cricket having not featured in the team’s recent Test tour to India.
“I love getting the red ball in my hand and this match presents a perfect opportunity to get some miles in the legs ahead of what should be a hard fought Test series against Bangladesh,” said Wagner.
“The boys are happy to be back home and we can’t wait to play in front of our home fans over the New Year period in both Mount Maunganui and Christchurch.”
Conway’s inclusion sees him return to cricket after breaking his hand in the ICC T20 World Cup semi-final against England in November.
His selection in the New Zealand XI is subject to the hand injury being fully recovered in time to take the field.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into some competitive cricket and hopefully I’m passed fit to play,” said Conway.
“I’ve just started batting again and testing out my hand so I’m hopeful of making my return for the New Zealand XI. There’s nothing like a match situation to really test it out and help build some confidence.”
New Zealand XI Selector, Gavin Larsen, said the fixture will not only give Wagner and Conway some competitive cricket, but also a chance for up-and-coming domestic talent to test themselves against international cricketers.
“You’ve got players like Brett Randell in there who’s been showing excellent form for Northern Districts this season,” said Larsen.
“Brett’s proved a real handful for anyone he’s come up against. It will be great to see if he can continue that strong form against quality international batsmen,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wellington Firebirds batsman, Tim Robinson and Otago Volts batsman, Jacob Cumming, are another two who have shown promise at age-group level.
“Both Tim and Jacob are emerging talents and have already made promising starts to their cricketing careers. Both I know they will relish the chance to play for the New Zealand XI and show people what they’ve got.”
Brendon Donkers will coach the New Zealand XI for the two-day warm-up fixture.
The match will be live scored on the NZC website.
New Zealand XI
Ma’ara Ave - Central Stags
Jakob Bhula - Wellington Firebirds
Jack Boyle - Canterbury
Devon Conway - Wellington Firebirds
Jacob Cumming - Otago Volts
Joey Field - Central Stags
Jarrod McKay - Otago Volts
Tim Pringle - Northern Districts
Brett Randell - Northern Districts
Mitch Renwick - Otago Volts
Tim Robinson - Wellington Firebirds
Neil Wagner - Northern Districts
*one to be added
**NOTE: The BLACKCAPS Test team for the Walton Test Series against Bangladesh will be announced on Thursday morning.