New Zealand finalise World Cup squad

Wellington, Sep 11 (UNI) In the pursuit to go one better than their Final appearance in 2019, New Zealand have named their 15-player group for this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

New Zealand confirmed the group at Papatoetoe High School in Auckland on Monday, the alma mater of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who was named in the squad.

The 30-year-old joins skipper Kane Williamson, who was confirmed as a squad member this week after making a quicker-than-expected recovery from a ruptured ACL at the 2023 IPL.

Both Williamson and fast bowler Tim Southee have been named to appear at their fourth World Cup, an ICC report said.

Following a strong run in form across the two white-ball formats, Mark Chapman has earned his spot, as well as 23-year-old spin-bowling all-rounder Rachin Ravindra, who claimed 3/48 against England in the first of four ODIs on Friday.

There was no room in the group for young top order batter Finn Allen, nor back-up wicket-keeper Tim Seifert, with the Black Caps opting for Tom Latham as the sole wicket-keeper in the squad.

Adam Milne, who recently picked up a hamstring injury on New Zealand’s tour of England, has also missed out.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead admitted he faced some tough decisions when deciding on the final squad, but believes he has got the right mix of youth and experience to take to India.

“It’s always a special time to name a tournament team and I’d like to congratulate the 15 players selected today. It’s a great honour to represent your country at a World Cup,” Stead said.

“From Kane and Tim heading to their fourth tournament to the guys selected for the first time it’s always a very exciting time,” he said.

“As with any squad named for an ICC tournament, there have been some tough calls and there will be some disappointed players,” Stead said.

“The key for us was finding the right balance for the squad and making sure we had our bases covered for what is going to be a very competitive tournament,” he said.

The side meet England and Bangladesh in ODIs before taking on England again in a rematch of the 2019 Final in the World Cup opener on October 5.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.

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