Nathan McCullum named in New Zealand World T20 squad

Nathan McCullum
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Nathan McCullum. (© Getty Images)
Abhijit
ABHIJIT

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New Zealand off-spinner Nathan McCullum has been called up to represent his country in the ICC World T20 World cup in March. The 35-year old’s spot in the national side has been in doubt following a lengthy knee injury that had kept the veteran spinner on the sidelines for a long period of time. McCullum will call time on his international career following the completion of the World Cup, a fitting end to an illustrious career.

Nathan McCullum’s inclusion in the squad sees him joining leg spinner Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, thereby forming a trio of slower bowlers in the side. The inclusion of slow bowlers in the side is particularly important given the spinning tracks in the subcontinent.

Speaking to the media following the announcement of the T20 squad, chief selector Gavin Larsen went on to state that, “He’s back and fighting fit again – I wouldn’t call Nathan a gamble at all, he’s an absolutely proven T20 practitioner and his experience will be vital.”

New Zealand pace bowler Matt Henry has been left out of the squad while batsman Henry Nicholls has been included in the squad. Nicholls, who made an impressive debut against Pakistan at the Basin Reserve, will provide cover for wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi. However, the surprise exclusion of Matt Henry provoked a statement from Larsen. “Matt is very unlucky – he’s a form horse at the moment, bowling exceptionally well in one-day cricket and he’s got a massive future with New Zealand.” Henry and all-rounder Doug Bracewell will provide cover for the World Cup.

The currently injured Tim Southee, Mitchell McCleneghan and Ross Taylor have all been included in the squad. Larsen however, seemed optimistic about their recovery and form. “Of course, it’s always a concern when you’ve got injuries, but they’re travelling well in terms of their rehab and we’re very, very confident that come a month from now, they’ll be 100 per cent fighting fit.”

Squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Corey Anderson, Grant Elliott, Mitchell Santner, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult.