Jesse Ryder is in line for his New Zealand debut after he was called up for their Twenty20 and one-day series against England. Paul Hitchcock, the medium pacer who last played for New Zealand in their ODI tour of Pakistan in 2003-04, has been recalled, while the uncapped Tim Southee was named in the Twenty20 squad.
Ryder, a hard-hitting batsman and handy seamer, has been on the fringes of the national squad for some time but was frustrated by not being selected sooner. He didn't turn up for Ireland last UK summer, was considering playing for England, and refused to attend the training camp for New Zealand's initial 30-man World Cup group. He made himself unavailable for last year's New Zealand A tour of Australia, but he has finally won an opportunity.
"Jesse has the potential to provide an explosive start alongside Brendon McCullum at the top of the innings in both forms of the game," Richard Hadlee, the selection manager, said. "Tim will join the squad for the Twenty20 leg only. He is an impressive young bowler and the Twenty20 internationals present an ideal opportunity for him to step into the senior fold. He will then rejoin the New Zealand Under-19 World Cup squad for the World Cup."
"Off the field I have had a few problems in the past but this year has been great," Ryder told the New Zealand Herald. "You have to grow up sooner or later if you want to make the big time. It's taken me a little longer than I had hoped."
Southee, 19, a right-arm fast bowler, made his debut for Northern Districts late last season. In his most recent first-class match, in December, he collected 6 for 68 in a losing side. He will be joined in the Twenty20 attack by Hitchcock, 33, who played 13 ODIs from 2002 to 2003.
"Paul Hitchcock is an experienced bowler whose style is well suited to New Zealand conditions and venues," Hadlee said. "He also gives greater depth to the batting order and a versatile range of bowling skills. Michael Mason replaces Tim Southee for the ODI series, with Jeetan Patel bringing the squad to 13."
New Zealand play two Twenty20 matches against England, the first on February 5, and then five ODIs. The squad announced today will be reviewed after the third one-dayer.
Twenty20 squad Brendon McCullum (wk), Jesse Ryder, Jamie How, Ross Taylor, Peter Fulton, Scott Styris, Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori (capt), Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Paul Hitchcock, Chris Martin.
ODI squad Brendon McCullum (wk), Jesse Ryder, Jamie How, Ross Taylor, Peter Fulton, Scott Styris, Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori (capt), Kyle Mills, Michael Mason, Jeetan Patel, Paul Hitchcock, Chris Martin.