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Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson return for Pakistan T20Is

Last updated on 03 Jan 2024 | 04:58 AM
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Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson return for Pakistan T20Is

Kane Williamson will lead New Zealand in the series, but Rachin Ravindra was given a rest after being on the road continuously since August 2023

New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry has returned to the squad for the T20 International (T20I) series against Pakistan, a couple of months after he was ruled out of the World Cup in India due to a hamstring injury. Henry is set to make his competitive return in the Super Smash on Friday (January 5), where he will take the field for Canterbury Kings against Central Stags at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

The pacer will join the 13-member squad next week in Auckland ahead of the opening T20I against Pakistan on Friday (January 12). 

Lockie Ferguson too is set to return to competitive cricket after recovering from an achilles injury as he is set to play three Super Smash matches for Auckland Aces before joining the squad. Ferguson has been picked for the last three matches of the five-match series. Ben Sears will take his place in his absence.

Kane Williamson will return to lead the series, and so does Devon Conway after missing a few games following the Bangladesh tour. Williamson though will miss the third match of the series as he continues to manage his knee injury. Uncapped Josh Clarkson has been added as cover, as a result.

Kyle Jamieson was not considered as he continues to recover from the hamstring injury he picked up during the UAE T20Is while Trent Boult and James Neesham made themselves unavailable due to T20 league commitments. Michael Bracewell, who has missed a huge chunk of the action, including the World Cup too has not been selected but the good news is he will take part in this season's Super Smash.

New Zealand's star at the World Cup Rachin Ravindra has been rested, after being on the road since August.

Speaking of the squad Blackcaps head coach Gary Stead said, “It’s great to be welcoming back Matt, Devon, Lockie and Kane." 

“They’re four quality players in their own right and their skills and experience will bolster our side. Starting the series off at Eden Park on a Friday night will be a great occasion and one I know the team will relish.

“With just three T20I series left before the T20 World Cup, all matches are vitally important for our preparation.”

Speaking of Ravindra's omission, Stead said, “Rachin’s a young player who has immense value to New Zealand Cricket and we therefore want to look after his wellbeing.

“He’s the only player or staff member to have been touring non-stop for the past five months across five countries and that’s simply not sustainable.

“He’s still very much part of our thinking for the T20 World Cup in June and will come back into the reckoning for the T20 series against Australia in February.”

The T20I series kick starts on January 12 in Auckland. The action will shift to Hamilton (January14) and Dunedin (January 17) before concluding in Christchurch where the remaining matches will be played on January 19 and 21. 

New Zealand squad for Pakistan T20Is: Squad: Kane Williamson (c) [games 1, 2, 4 & 5], Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson [game 3 only], Devon Conway (wk), Lockie Ferguson [games 3, 4 & 5], Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ben Sears [games 1 & 2], Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

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