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News

Milne, Allen and Bracewell included in New Zealand's T20 World Cup squad

The same group will play the T20 tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh in Christchurch

Adam Milne is all smiles after getting Jonny Bairstow's wicket, England vs New Zealand, T20 World Cup, 1st semi-final, Abu Dhabi, November 10, 2021

Adam Milne gives New Zealand another pace option  •  ICC via Getty

Fast bowler Adam Milne has been included in New Zealand's squad for the T20 World Cup after missing recent tours due to an Achilles problem.
Milne was part of last year's tournament in the UAE after being called up as a replacement for Lockie Ferguson. During a career interrupted by injuries, he has taken 32 wickets at 26.68 in 31 T20Is. He forms the frontline pace options alongside Ferguson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead said they will want to see how Milne went in the tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh early next month, but was confident he would be ready for the World Cup.
"We've had a lot of conversations with Adam and the medical crew around him and we are confident that if everything goes well for him that he'll be available for the tri-series games beforehand," Stead said. "I guess that's ultimately a final test for him to make sure he's where we want to be. We believe he'll be ready and that's why he was selected."
Also included in the 15-player squad are Finn Allen and Michael Bracewell who will appear at their first World Cup. Devon Conway will be the frontline wicketkeeper while Mark Chapman and Ish Sodhi retain their places.
There is no specialist back-up for Conway with the gloves, but Stead indicated that Allen or Glenn Phillips could step in if needed at short notice.
"We felt that in the last World Cup that Devon did a really admirable job and you expect in Australia that probably even less balls will go through to the keeper," he said.
Allen, the hard-hitting opening batter, has made a promising start to his international career and already has a T20I hundred - 101 off 56 balls against Scotland - while striking at 169.54 from his 13 matches.
Stead said that he had a first-choice 12 in mind for the World Cup, but the tri-series will be used to fine-tune plans including the combination they go with at the top of the order with Allen, Conway, Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill all options to open. Daryl Mitchell will be used in a middle-order role.
"I'll hold those cards close to my chest on what we will do [with opening], but think we'll see during the tri-series we'll be trying a few different people there," he said.
Kyle Jamieson was not considered for selection as he continues his recovery from the back injury he picked up in England.
Guptill will become the first New Zealander to appear at seven men's T20 World Cups.
The same squad will play the T20 tri-series involving Pakistan and Bangladesh which will be staged early next month in Christchurch although extra players may be called in to manage workloads of those heading to Australia.
"Along with the all-important game time, those matches will be a great chance to refine our combinations and game-plans ahead of our departure to Australia," Stead said.
New Zealand open their T20 World Cup campaign against hosts Australia, at the SCG, on October 22.