Soon-to-retire New Zealand batter Ross Taylor
will turn out for New Zealand XI against the Netherlands in Napier next week to get some game time before his final ODI series starting at the end of the month.
Taylor was ruled out of the Plunket Shield round that started on Friday, for Central Districts, for being a Covid-19 "household contact", but he will feature in the second warm-up match on March 19 as well as the only T20I against the Netherlands on March 21, both in Napier.
"I'm looking forward to getting down to Napier and playing on one of my favourite grounds in McLean Park," Taylor said. "It's a great opportunity to get some time in the middle after missing the latest round of the Plunket Shield, and it will also be useful to have a look at the touring team ahead of the ODI series.
"I'm looking forward to sharing the dressing room with some new and younger faces who I hope I can help by passing on some knowledge.
"The Netherlands are an ever-improving side and they'll be relishing the chance to take on a Test-playing nation. They have a few familiar players from the New Zealand domestic scene who I'm sure will be valuable to them in terms of understanding the conditions."
Taylor was in fine form when he featured in the Ford Trophy - New Zealand's domestic one-day competition - recently, finishing as Central Districts' top-scorer with 279 runs at an average of 55.80 and a strike rate of 137.43. He struck two half-centuries and a 49-ball century
, in a rain-curtailed match against Wellington.
The New Zealand XI will be led by Wellington captain Michael Bracewell
. Bracewell, Dane Cleaver
and Ben Sears
will be among the contenders to make it to the white-ball squads for the international games as 12 regular New Zealand internationals will be unavailable because of their departure for the IPL.
Sears has already had a taste of international cricket by playing two T20Is in Bangladesh last September. Bracewell had to turn down his maiden New Zealand call-up on the same tour because he awaited the birth of his first child, and Cleaver is yet to be included in a New Zealand squad.
will lead the coaching staff and will be joined by Auckland pace bowling coach Azhar Abbas and former New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling
. Watling has been working in the Northern Districts coaching network for the last couple of seasons and was the head coach for their A squad this season and assisted the Northern Brave men during their recent Super Smash campaign.
The two warm-up games against the Netherlands will be played behind closed doors at McLean Park on March 17 and 19, followed by a one-off T20I on March 21. Netherlands will then take on New Zealand in a T20I on March 25, followed by the ODIs on March 29, April 2 and 4.
New Zealand XI squad: Michael Bracewell (capt), Matt Bacon, Matt Boyle, Josh Clarkson, Dane Cleaver (wk), James Hartshorn, Mitch Hay, Jayden Lennox, Angus McKenzie, Jock McKenzie, Tim Pringle, Ben Sears, Jesse Tashkoff (game 1), Ross Taylor (games 2 and 3)