With major players unavailable due to the Indian Premier League (IPL), New Zealand on Wednesday announced the squad for a five-match T20 series against Pakistan.

Michael Bracewell has been appointed as the captain for the series scheduled for later this month.

Bracewell, who will captain the team for the first time, has been side-lined since his most recent international appearance in March last year, firstly with a ruptured Achilles and then with a broken finger.

Since recovering he’s made a spectacular return to cricket, claiming his best first-class figures with the ball in his first match back in the Plunket Shield.

The all-rounder will lead a group featuring seven members of previous T20 World Cup squads, balanced by two players in Wellington’s Tim Robinson and Canterbury’s Will O’Rourke — selected in a Black Caps T20I squad for the first time.

O’Rourke impressed on debut with the test side against South Africa in February, while Robinson earned his spot with a torrent of runs for Wellington in the domestic Super Smash competition.

The Kiwis will face Pakistan in three matches in Rawalpindi and two in Lahore from April 18. The T20 World Cup runs from June 1 to 29.

Top ranking NZ players Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner and Kane Williamson were all unavailable due to IPL commitments.

Will Young was also unavailable for selection as he takes up a winter contract with Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, as was Tom Latham, who is awaiting the birth of his second child.

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Tim Southee, the team’s leading T20 wicket taker since the last T20 World Cup, wasn’t considered for selection to allow him a period of prolonged conditioning following a busy playing schedule across formats.

Colin Munro was also unavailable for selection.

Kiwis’ coach Gary Stead will lead a support staff group in Pakistan featuring batting coaching Luke Ronchi, and Canterbury’s High Performance Development Coach, Brendon Donkers, as bowling coach.

The coaching group will be assisted by former England international James Foster, who most recently worked with the team in the UK and India.

The playing group and support staff depart for Pakistan next Friday (April 12), with the first match against the Green Shirts in Rawalpindi on Thursday (April 18).


Michael Bracewell (captain), Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi.