Wellington: Opening batsman Brendon McCullum has been omitted from New Zealand's one-day and Twenty20 squads for their tour of the West Indies, playing only in the Test matches. New Zealand Cricket named their three T20, ODI and Test squads on Thursday, and McCullum's name was included only in the Test squad. Selection manager Kim Littlejohn said that the former wicketkeeper had played a lot of cricket in recent seasons and had earned a rest.
"We have picked three strong squads for what will be a tough tour of the West Indies. We asked Brendon McCullum to take a break during the short-form component of the tour," Littlejohn said. "The team is about to embark on a heavy program of international cricket and we will need to sensibly manage the workload of our players."
South African-born fast bowler Neil Wagner has been named in the Test squad little more than a week after the International Cricket Council granted him dispensation to be selected for New Zealand. ICC regulations say a player must live in his adopted country for a minimum of 183 days in each of four consecutive years to qualify to play for that country.
The 26-year-old Wagner moved to New Zealand in 2008 but missed the required number of days in two years, once while competing for Otago province in the Champions League and in the other while attending a family wedding. New Zealand Cricket applied to the ICC's Exceptional Circumstances Committee for dispensation in Wagner's case and approval was granted in late April.
"Neil has been an extremely good performer in the (domestic first class) Plunket Shield for a number of seasons and deserves his opportunity," Littlejohn said. Allrounder James Franklin has not been selected for the tour, but Littlejohn said he remained an integral part of New Zealand's planning for the Twenty20 World Cup. New Zealand Cricket has arranged for Franklin to play for Essex in the England county Twenty20 competition.
"Tom Latham comes back into the short-form teams after showing a great deal of promise during his first series against Zimbabwe," Littlejohn said. "This tour presents an opportunity for Tom to build on the good start he has made to his international career." Wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has recovered from a hip injury and has been included in all three squads, along with Daniel Flynn who impresses in the recent Test match against South Africa.
Littlejohn said Jacob Oram has recovered from a calf injury, adding experience and all-round skill to the Twenty20 and ODI sides." New Zealand will play two T20 internationals against the West Indies at ,Lauderhill Florida on June 30 and July 1 before the teams meet in five one-day internationals and two Test matches.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket has begun their search for a new national coach to replace John Wright who announced unexpectedly this week he will not extend his contract beyond next month's tour to the West Indies. Wright cited differences of opinion with national director of coaching John Buchanan, the former Australia coach, as a factor in his decision not to continue in the role he has held since late 2010.
New Zealand media reported Thursday that NZC may use Wright's departure to install a new coaching system, based on South Africa's, under which a head coach would delegate various degrees of responsibility to assistants. Wellington's Dominion-Post newspaper reported that Buchanan has already approached Jamie Siddons, his former Australia assistant who currently coaches Wellington province. The newspaper said Buchanan saw a role for Siddons with the New Zealand one-day side.
The New Zealand Herald said current South African assistant coach Paddy Upton was also a leading candidate for the head coaching role.
T20 internationals: Ross Taylor (captain), Martin Guptill, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Andrew Ellis, Daniel Flynn, Ronnie Hira, Tom Latham, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, B.J. Watling, Kane Williamson.
ODI: Ross Taylor (captain), Martin Guptill, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Andrew Ellis, Daniel Flynn, Tom Latham, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Tarun Nethula, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, B.J. Watling, Kane Williamson.
Tests: Ross Taylor (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Neil Wagner, Daniel Flynn, Mark Gillespie, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tarun Nethula, Kruger van Wyk, Daniel Vettori, B.J. Watling, Kane Williamson.