Tom Latham to captain depleted New Zealand side in Australia

New Zealand

Tom Latham will captain a shadow New Zealand squad in their three World Cup warm-up matches against Australia in Brisbane next month.

With nine of the World Cup 15 playing in the IPL and Ross Taylor signing a deal with Nottinghamshire, the 13-man squad for the trip across the Tasman includes just five of the players who will be heading to England later in May.

Latham is joined by Henry Nicholls, Matt Henry, Jimmy Neesham and Tom Blundell from those named in the World Cup squad.

While Australia, who name their World Cup squad on Monday, will call back IPL players for the three matches, New Zealand allow their players a full stint in India and are using the time in Brisbane as a chance for fringe players to impress. Apart from Will Young all the squad have international experience.

“It’s an exciting challenge ahead of this group who I know will relish the chance to take on the Australians at home,” selector Gavin Larsen said. “The matches will be a stern test and provide quality preparation for those players bound for England and a great opportunity for the rest of the squad to show their wares.”

Tim Seifert, who narrowly missed the cut for the World Cup when Blundell was preferred as back-up wicketkeeper, was not considered for the trip due to his finger injury. Adam Milne and Corey Anderson, both part of the 2015 World Cup, are also injured.

Todd Astle, who lost out to Ish Sodhi in the main squad, will head to Brisbane as will Doug Bracewell who would be a possible World Cup call-up if any of the incumbent allrounders got injured.

The three matches, which won’t be official ODIs, taken place on May 5, 7 and 9 at Allan Border Field. The New Zealand players then return home for a few days before making the trip to England.

New Zealand squad Tom Latham, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Hamish Rutherford, Blair Tickner, George Worker, Will Young

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