'I don't think you can turn that opportunity down!' Tom Latham brimming with pride over Black Caps captaincy

Tom Latham is rearing to go as the stand-in skipper for the Black Caps in their upcoming tri-series with Ireland and Bangladesh later this month.

Opener Latham will lead New Zealand for the first time in the opening ODI against Ireland on May 14 at Malahide, near Dublin.

"To get that call about a month ago was pretty exciting," he said.

"I don't think you can turn the opportunity down - it's something that probably at the start of summer I wasn't expecting but to be given that confidence and be given that role is an exciting opportunity for me."

Latham is joined by three newcomers and four recalled players in the makeshift side with many usual features competing in the Indian Premier League.

Central Districts fast bowler Seth Rance and Northern Districts allrounder Scott Kuggeleijn are a step closer to representing New Zealand for the first time, while recently named Test Player of the Year Neil Wagner is also in line to make his ODI debut.

Wellington's Hamish Bennett and Central Districts' George Worker return to the international scene after extended periods out of the ODI squad, while Colin Munro and Henry Nicholls are also back in the side.

Jeetan Patel has been named, but will join the squad from Warwickshire for the fourth ODI.

The Black Caps will continue on to the Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom following the tour, with the squad for that to be named in late April.

New Zealand: Tom Latham (captain), Hamish Bennett, Neil Broom, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Jeetan Patel, Seth Rance, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, George Worker.

Not considered due to injury: Ben Wheeler, Doug Bracewell, Ed Nuttall.

Not considered due to IPL involvement: Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lockie Ferguson, Corey Anderson, Matt Henry, Colin de Grandhomme.

Players involved in the IPL will join up with the Ireland squad on a case-by-case basis once their IPL involvement ends.


New Black Caps coach to bring 'ideas that challenge thinking' for Pakistan series

New Black Caps coach Gary Stead had his first official day at the helm in Christchurch today with the team's first training session for their upcoming tour of the United Arab of Emirates where they play Pakistan.

Stead was last month announced as Mike Hesson's successor, with the 46-year-old saying he won't be changing too much with the team's style of play.

"A lot of the build-up to the World Cup has been in place in the last two or three years, so I think it would be stupid of me to come in and try and change that too much," said Stead.

"There has been a fair amount of success in the team, I'm sure that I'll have some ideas that might challenge current thinking and I think that is a good thing at any time of the year."

The Black Caps will play Pakistan in all three formats, starting with a Twenty 20 match at end of next month.

"I see it as our last chance to get really tested in overseas conditions before we play Sri Lanka in the Test championship which is in about 9-10 months time.

"For us the learning around that and how we go about playing spin in particular and the reverse swinging ball are probably two of the really key things."

Stead said he will be keeping a close eye on Pakistan's series against Australia, which begins early next month before their fixtures with Pakistan.

"We'll be watching the Pakistan and Australia series really carefully to try and get some clarity on the way they are playing the game and what we can learn from that.

"But like any game we go into every series and try and win them."

Stead has eight months to prepare his side for the Cricket World Cup in Wales and England, which begins in late May.

"Try and play our best cricket and we try and learn from it as well, ultimately with a big eye to the World Cup that is only 8-9 months away."

Gary Stead says he will bring some new ideas to the NZ camp. Source: 1 NEWS


'I'm a different bowler now' - Black Caps spinner Ish Sodhi on upcoming Pakistan tour

Black Caps leg-spinner Ish Sodhi is quietly confident ahead of his side's Pakistan tour next month in the United Arab Emirates.

While training in Christchurch today with his team, the 25-year-old said being on the 2014 tour has given him a leg up on what to expect.

"Really looking forward to what the tour has got to offer, I went over there four years ago and played over there in 2014," said Sodhi.

"So have a bit of knowledge about the conditions."

Sodhi believes his game has changed somewhat from when he first made the Black Caps squad earlier in his career.

"I think I am a different bowler now to what I was then.

"Four years is a long time I guess for a spinner's development and also being quite a young guy."

The Black Caps begin their UAE tour with three Twenty 20 matches, with the first T20 on October 31 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The 25-year-old leg-spinner is confident he has developed his game, as he prepares for his side's first fixture next month. Source: 1 NEWS


'They've got a huge amount of depth' - White Ferns wary despite recent T20 edge over Australia

New Zealand coach Haidee Tiffen believes Australia's poor record in trans-Tasman women's Twenty20 cricket will motivate the hosts in their three-match series.

The White Ferns have won eight of the past 11 Trans Tasman clashes in the shortest format of the game leading into Saturday's match at North Sydney Oval.

Three successive series have gone New Zealand's way, with the most recent clinched when Australia were skittled for 66 in Adelaide 18 months ago.

Australia have held sway in recent one-day internationals but Tiffen is proud her team have found a winning formula in the shorter format.

"In T20 definitely. Over the last few years we've been quite successful against them," she said.

"But I know that that's hurt them

"Both teams are back to zero and we're under no illusion that this is not going to be an easy-beat team."

The teams are using the series to prepare for the World T20 in the West Indies.

There will be more at stake when they meet in pool play in Guyana on November 13.

Matches in Canberra and Brisbane next week will complete the warm-up series, which will be Amy Satterthwaite's first as White Ferns captain.

Satterthwaite took charge when veteran opener Suzie Bates surprisingly relinquished the leadership earlier this month.

Bates feels her third-ranked team needed a change after they lost all three T20 matches to hosts and world No.2 England in a mid-year tri-series.

Tiffen said top-ranked Australia will be good enough to expose New Zealand weaknesses.

"They've got experienced campaigners in there like Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry and they're injecting some youth into their side," she said.

"They've got a huge amount of depth, a higher competition for places and they're ranked No.1 in the world for a reason."

Women's One Day International, YMCA Cricket Club, Dublin 8/6/2018
Ireland vs New Zealand
New Zealand's Amelia Kerr
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Amelia Kerr had only scored 174 runs prior to this recording-breaking innings. Source: Photosport


Dan Vettori loses another high profile T20 job, axed as Middlesex coach

Australian Stuart Law will leave his role as West Indies head coach to take over at English County Championship side Middlesex from next season, leaving former Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori out of a job.

The former Australia batsman has agreed a four-year deal with the county and will begin his new job in January following West Indies' tours of India and Bangladesh.

"It is a great privilege to be asked to coach Middlesex and to accept one of the plum jobs in world cricket," he said.

"I have very much enjoyed my time with the West Indies and wish the staff and players every success.

"There is never a good time to leave but the opportunity to work with Middlesex for four years at the home of cricket was too good to decline."

It's the second recent blow to Vettori's coaching resume, with the former spinner also fired from his job with Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

Dan Vettori of the Black Caps