ICC 2019 World Cup: New Zealand becomes the first team to announce their World Cup squad
What's the story
In case you didn't know...
Cricket's biggest event, the 2019 World Cup gets underway in England later next month. The ICC has set the deadline as 30th April 2019 for the teams to announce their final squads, and the New Zealand selectors announced the team well ahead of the deadline.
The heart of the matter
As expected, Kane Williamson will lead the side in the upcoming mega event. The Kiwis came very close to winning the last World Cup but lost to Australia in the finals. They would love to go one step further this time to win their maiden World Cup.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead felt that it was all about finding the right combinations for the big tournament. The squad announced has kept that in mind. He also ensured the all the bases were covered for a competitive tournament. Here is what he said:
"As with any squad named for a major tournament, there’s had to be 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 World Cup.”
The surprise inclusion in the Kiwis' World Cup squad is Tom Blundell. The wicket-keeper batsman scored a century on his Test debut but is yet to play ODI cricket. However, Tim Seifert, who had a great T20 series against India, might have been the right pick for the backup wicketkeeper.
World cup Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Jimmy Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
New Zealand set to play their first game in the 2019 World Cup against Sri Lanka on the 1st of June.