Above: Luke Ronchi batting recently for the Wellington Firebirds
Wellington Firebirds strike bowler Mark Gillespie and wicket-keeper batsman Luke Ronchi have been selected in BLACKCAPS squads for the upcoming England tour and ICC Champions Trophy tournament.
Gillespie returns to the BLACKCAPS Test squad for the tour of England. The BLACKCAPS will play two Tests against the English, at Lords Cricket Ground in London and Headingley Carnegie in Leeds.
The 15 player squad for the ODI series and ICC Champions Trophy features one uncapped player, with Wellington’s Luke Ronchi set to make his debut for the BLACKCAPS.
James Franklin and Grant Elliott are also in the ODI and ICC Champions Trophy squad.
Daniel Vettori returns to the One Day side after eight months out of international cricket with an ankle injury, while Mitchell McClenaghan also returns after recovering from his abdominal side-strain.
The BLACKCAPS square off against England in three ODIs, before taking part in the ICC Champions Trophy which begins June 6. The tour is then completed with two Twenty20 Internationals against England at the conclusion of the tournament (team still to be named).
General Manager National Selection Kim Littlejohn said that with a fully fit squad, the race for spots had never been so competitive.
“Luke Ronchi gets his chance after impressing on the domestic scene. We know how dangerous he is and look forward to seeing him display his talents on the international stage.”
Talking of Gillespie’s inclusion to the Test team, BLACKCAPS head coach Mike Hesson said his form had warranted his re-selection.
“Mark has been dominant in the domestic competitions this season and fully deserves his spot in the Test side. He finished the equal top wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield this season and knows the international scene well, so we know he has the ability.”
The tour begins on May 4 with the BLACKCAPS playing a Three-day warm-up match against Derbyshire. Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor will miss that match due to IPL commitments, but will join the team in time for the second warm-up fixture against the England Lions on May 9.
Brendon McCullum (c)
Bradley John Watling
ODI and ICC Champions Trophy squad:
Brendon McCullum (c)