McCullum, Taylor to miss SL tour
Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, and Ross Taylor will miss the limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka, which starts on November 10, in order to prepare for the home series against West Indies. Kane Williamson will lead New Zealand in the three ODIs and two T20Is in Sri Lanka. Luke Ronchi and Ian Butler will replace McCullum and Taylor in the squad.
Bruce Edgar, New Zealand Cricket's general manager - national selection, said the pair will not travel to Sri Lanka so that they can have "red-ball preparation" ahead of the home series against West Indies. New Zealand are scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is against West Indies, between December 3 and January 15, 2014. This will be followed by a home series against India, comprising five ODIs and two Tests, between January 19 and February 18, 2014.
"Ross and Brendon need red-ball preparation to be at their best for the summer," Edgar said. "Both players are vital to our success and fine-tuning their red-ball skills before the West Indies series starting in early December is paramount."
McCullum and Ross will play in the Plunket Shield, New Zealand's first-class competition, and are also likely to feature in a few games for New Zealand XI before the first Test against West Indies on December 3.
Edgar also said that the board was trying to manage player workloads effectively in the lead-up to bigger competitions, like the World Cup 2015, and stressed that resting senior players allowed the team to develop a larger talent pool in limited-overs cricket.
"This summer we have 37 days of international cricket at home and Brendon and Ross are expected to play all of these, so it's essential that we manage their workloads," he said. "It's important we provide game time to a wider playing group in one-dayers and Twenty20s, and establish a bigger bench of playing experience with the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh next year and World Cup 2015 beyond that."
New Zealand will play the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka on November 10 and 12 in Hambantota, followed by the third ODI in Dambulla on November 16. The two T20Is will be held in Kandy on November 19 and 21.
New Zealand squad for Sri Lanka ODIs and T20Is: Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Ian Butler, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford