New Zealand cricket has announced that experienced player Tom Latham will lead the national squad in the upcoming three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. The team will feature two potential debutants, Chad Bowes and Ben Lister. The decision was made to release some top players, including Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, and Devon Conway, for the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Mitchell Santner will also be absent from the ODI series at the request of his franchise. The squad for the series will assemble in two phases, with the first group consisting of players participating in the IPL. Lister, who made his T20I debut for New Zealand last month, will join the team as a fresh face, while Bowes earned his first selection in a Black Caps squad.
Following the first ODI at Eden Park on March 25, Finn Allen, Lockie Ferguson, and Glenn Phillips will leave the squad to travel to India. This will see Mark Chapman, Ben Lister, and Henry Nicholls join the team ahead of the second ODI at Hagley Oval.
The squad will also feature the return of Tom Blundell and Will Young to international white-ball cricket. Black Caps coach Gary Stead said the series against Sri Lanka presents a big opportunity for a range of players.
Stead added, "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 further praised Bowes, stating that he had been impressive for several seasons at the top of the order for Canterbury and is an excellent fielder.
Stead also spoke about Lister's selection, saying that it 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 opening ODI against Sri Lanka will take place in Auckland on March 22, and the Black Caps coach expressed his enthusiasm for the series, adding, "It's an exciting opportunity for Tom ahead of a big year of white ball cricket."
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.