New Zealand news April 16, 2014

Watling to lead NZ A in England

ESPNcricinfo staff

BJ Watling will lead the New Zealand A squad on a month-long tour to England, which includes eight players with Test experience. The side will play nine 50-over matches, including games against Sri Lanka A, Scotland and England Lions, and two three-day matches against Kent and Surrey.

The tour will be an opportunity for the management to look at some of the fringe players in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup. "It's a very important tour in terms of the World Cup and players showing they are able to perform certain roles for us," Mike Hesson, New Zealand coach, told the New Zealand Herald.

With the opener's slot in ODIs not yet confirmed, Hesson identified Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham and Anton Devcich, who are part of the New Zealand A squad, as candidates for the World Cup squad.

"They will have a number of opportunities to show they are capable of batting at the top of the order in one-day cricket. It's going to be a huge opportunity for those guys. There are some very contestable positions for the World Cup squad," Hesson said.

Devcich, Colin Munro and Ish Sodhi will return after the one-dayers and will be replaced by Todd Astle, Michael Bracewell and Mark Craig for the three-day games.

The one-dayers will begin on July 31 with the first game against Northamptonshire, while the first three-day match will be played on August 25.

New Zealand A squad: BJ Watling, Hamish Bennett, Dean Brownlie, Colin de Grandhomme, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle, Michael Bracewell, Mark Craig.