NZ vs Ban – Williamson returns as T20I captain after more than a year

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Kane Williamson returns to captain New Zealand’s T20I squad in the home series against Bangladesh after more than a year since he last played the format.

Like he was for the ongoing ODIs against Bangladesh, opening batter Devon Conway was rested from the T20Is as well because of workload management, while Michael Bracewell (achilles), Lockie Ferguson (achilles), Matt Henry (hamstring) and Henry Shipley (back) were all injured. Trent Boult made himself unavailable for selection.

Williamson’s previous T20 international was during the home series against India in November last year. He made a comeback to international cricket during the ODI World Cup in October and November, after a long recovery period following knee surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament he had ruptured during the opening game of the 2023 IPL season.

Alrounder James Neesham also returned to the T20I squad after missing New Zealand’s previous T20I series, in England in September, because of the birth of his child, while fast bowler Ben Sears has been included.

“It’s great to be able to finish off a busy year that started on the road by having the group together in New Zealand,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said. “We’ve played T20 cricket in a wide variety of conditions this year and it’s been great to see a broad range of players making contributions.

“Tim Seifert, as an example, returned to the side in a specific role at the top of the order and made significant contributions in each series he was part of. With a World Cup in the middle of next year, we’re well into our planning in terms of both the tournament and the type of squad we might need in the conditions.

“While we’re advanced in our planning, as we saw with the one-day World Cup squad this year with the likes of Mark Chapman and Rachin Ravindra – there is certainly still time for players to come into that mix.”

New Zealand’s T20I squad will assemble on Boxing Day ahead of the series opener against Bangladesh in Napier on December 27, after which the teams travel to Tauranga for the second and third games on December 29 and 31.

New Zealand’s T20I squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

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