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Latham to lead ODI team against Sri Lanka; Williamson, Southee, Conway opt for IPL

Auckland, March 13 (IANS) The experienced Tom Latham will lead a New Zealand squad featuring two potential debutants in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka as New Zealand cricket decided to release some top players for the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Chad Bowes and Ben Lister are the two uncapped players in the Black Caps ODI squad to face Sri Lanka as ODI Squad regulars Kane Williamson (Gujarat Titans), Tim Southee (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Devon Conway (Chennai Super Kings) will be released early to join the IPL after participating in the ongoing Test Series against Sri Lanka. Mitchell Santner (Chennai Super Kings) will also not participate in the ODI series at the request of his franchise.

The squad for the three-match ODI Series will assemble in two phases with the first group featuring players also participating in the IPL, New Zealand Cricket informed in a statement on Monday.

Lister is fresh off his T20I debut for New Zealand in India last month while Bowes has earned his first selection in a Black Caps squad. Bowes is Canterbury’s leading white-ball run-scorer this season with 373* List A runs at 46.63 and 359 T20 runs at 39.89.

Following the first ODI at Eden Park on March 25, Finn Allen (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Lockie Ferguson (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Glenn Phillips (Sunrisers Hyderabad) will leave the squad and travel to India.

The departure of those players will see Mark Chapman, Ben Lister and Henry Nicholls join up with the squad ahead of the second ODI at Hagley Oval.

Another feature of the squad is the return of Tom Blundell and Will Young to international white-ball cricket.

The Black Caps coach Gary Stead said the series against Sri Lanka presents a big opportunity for a range of players.

“It’s always exciting as a coach to have new players in the environment and to have players putting their hands up to be selected again in a particular format,” he said, adding “Chad has been impressive for several seasons at the top of the order for Canterbury as well as being an excellent fielder”.

“We are set to play 16 white ball matches between now and the start of May so there will be a number of chances for players to test themselves in familiar and unfamiliar conditions.”

“Tom Blundell, in particular, is someone who we’ve been hugely impressed by in international cricket over the past 18 months as a leader in the Test team and then domestically with the Wellington Firebirds,” the New Zealand coach added. “It’s an exciting opportunity for Tom ahead of a big year of white ball cricket.”

Stead said Lister’s selection was a testament to his determination to recover from illness and injury. “Ben’s had a challenging time in the past six to seven months but he’s back fit again and we are really excited by the point of difference he brings to the bowling group.”

The Squad for the opening ODI against Sri Lanka will assemble in Auckland on March 22.

ODI Squad to face Sri Lanka:

Tom Latham (c), Finn Allen (ODI 1), Tom Blundell, Chad Bowes, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman (ODI 2 & 3), Lockie Ferguson (ODI 1), Matt Henry, Ben Lister (ODI 2 & 3), Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls (ODI 2 & 3), Glenn Phillips (ODI 1), Henry Shipley,

Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Will Young.



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