Auckland, Mar 26 (IANS): Left-handed wicketkeeper-batter Tom Latham will return to T20I action for the first time since 2021 to lead New Zealand in their upcoming series against Sri Lanka at home and then facing Pakistan in away conditions.
Latham will captain both squads which feature potential debutants in Chad Bowes and Henry Shipley, along with several players returning to T20I on the back of strong international and domestic form, with regular New Zealand players set to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"We saw against India earlier this season the power and range of shots that Tom possesses. His adaptability also means he can feature in a range of batting positions. He led an inexperienced T20 squad to Bangladesh in 2021 and we were really impressed with his leadership of that group during a COVID bubble tour," said head coach Gary Stead in a statement.
The squads for Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be split, with 13 players named for the three-game T20I series against Sri Lanka which starts at Eden Park on April 2, before a 15-man squad departs to Pakistan on April 9.
Cole McConchie, Rachin Ravindra and Tim Seifert have all been selected in a T20I squad for the first time since 2021. Wicketkeeper-batter Seifert features in the squad for the home series against Sri Lanka but won't travel to Pakistan as he and his wife await the birth of their first child.
Dane Cleaver, Cole McConchie and Blair Tickner are the new players to be added to the group when the New Zealand squad moves to Pakistan. While Shipley was included in the T20I squad on this year's tour to India and recently took a five-fer in the ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday, Bowes has been selected for the first time in the format fresh off his ODI debut at Eden Park on Saturday.
"We've got players returning and guys potentially making their debuts, that's a really exciting mix to have in the group for these matches. Players like Tim and Cole haven't been around the squad for a little while and I am sure they will bring good energy when they are involved. They have both earned their selection with strong domestic form this season," added Stead.
Stead will take a break during New Zealand's T20I series in Pakistan before rejoining the squad for the five-game ODI series which begins in Rawalpindi from April 26. Shane Jurgensen will lead the coaching staff for the T20I series against Pakistan.
New Zealand's T20I squad to face Sri Lanka will assemble in Auckland on April 1 ahead of the first match of the T20I Series at Eden Park on April 2.
New Zealand Squad: Tom Latham (captain & wicketkeeper), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Will Young, Tim Seifert (only Sri Lanka series), Dane Cleaver, Cole McConchie, and Blair Tickner (all three for Pakistan series)