New Zealand Cricket today announced the New Zealand XI to square off against England in two warm-up Twenty20 matches on February 4 and February 6 at Cobham Oval, Whangarei.
The fixtures prelude the beginning of the ANZ series between the BLACKCAPS and England, which gets underway with the first of three Twenty20 matches on February 9 at Eden Park, Auckland.
NZ XI squad:
Andrew Ellis (C): Canterbury Wizards
Anton Devcich: Northern Knights
Colin Munro: Auckland Aces
Hamish Rutherford: Otago Volts
Ian Butler: Otago Volts
Jimmy Neesham: Otago Volts
Luke Ronchi: Wellington Firebirds
Matthew Henry: Canterbury Wizards
Michael Bates: Auckland Aces
Neil Broom: Otago Volts
Neil Wagner: Otago Volts
Nick Beard: Otago Volts
Ross Taylor: Central Stags
Tom Latham: Canterbury Wizards
National Selection Manager, Kim Littlejohn said: “It’s a great opportunity for the selected players to test themselves at the top level and show what they are capable of against one of the best sides in the world.”
“It’s a very strong New Zealand XI and we expect them to be competitive opponents. Nearly all of the team have previous experience on the international stage, while the likes of Nick Beard, Matt Henry, Anton Devcich and Hamish Rutherford get their first chance after showing considerable promise on the domestic scene.
“We’re pleased to have Luke Ronchi available as well and after a great HRV Cup we look forward to watching him continue to make an impact.”
"Obviously it’s great to have Ross back in the mix and really we’re excited about seeing him play again. He’s a proven world-class batsman and this will provide him with a great chance to get some cricket under his belt following his break.”
”We’re confident all of the players in the squad will relish the chance to play against England, with the matches a great opportunity for them to push for higher honours.”