Gary Stead, head coach of New Zealand, discussed the acquisition of uncapped players in light of the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
For the forthcoming home ODI series against Bangladesh, New Zealand has a lot of new faces. Their roster for the three-game series includes four players with no ODI experience: Adithya Ashok, Will O’Rourke, Ben Sears, and Josh Clarkson. Ashok and Sears have both played T20Is for the Black Caps.
Head coach Gary Stead explained the reasoning behind introducing new faces to New Zealand’s setup during a press conference prior to the ODI series.
“Look, the guys who have been rested have been away for a long period of time,” Stead went on to say. “If you look back, it could be anywhere from three to four months on the road.” Finding that balance between playing series and considering the health and physical well-being of these players is critical for us.
“We’ve got a busy summer ahead of us with a lot of cricket.” So it’s really about having chats with the guys to make sure that when they play, they’re psychologically fresh and ready to go.”
He also framed the next series as the start of a new Cricket World Cup cycle, and thus an opportunity for the Kiwis to meet some fresh players.
“It’s also the start of an ICC [International Cricket Council] cycle.” So this is the first ODI game as we prepare for the 2027 World Cup in South Africa. While it may seem like a long time away, we don’t play another ODI for another nine or ten months after this. So it’s an opportunity to look at some potential future faces.”
Stead believes that each uncapped player might contribute to the Black Caps.
“We chose them because we saw elements of their game that we liked.” So it’s basically just about showing up and being oneself. We aim to put them in roles that are similar to what they do in domestic games.
“Sometimes it’s a little different, so it’s just making sure they’re nice and clear about their roles and what we expect of them.” But, in reality, it’s about people being themselves and coming in and enjoying themselves.”
Bangladesh’s trip of New Zealand began on December 17.
New Zealand squad: Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Adam Milne, Henry Nicholls, Will O’Rourke, Rachin Ravindra, Ish Sodhi (match 1), Will Young, Ben Sears (match 1).