Indoor Cricket: New Zealand Announce Squads for World Cup  

New Zealand Indoor Cricket

By Ahmad Khawaja

Title contenders New Zealand have finalised their squads for the 2022 WICF Indoor Cricket World Cup, following the conclusion of the Senior Provincial Championships in Auckland this past weekend.

Squad lists were named in the Open Men’s, Open Women’s, 22 and Under Men and 22 and Under Women’s grades who will contest the Cup at Casey Stadium, Melbourne from 8-15 October.

The squads are headlined by the return of Former International Jesse Ryder, who will play in his second World Cup, whilst the squads also feature several female players from the New Zealand domestic circuit.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of players selected are from regions across the North Island. Central Districts claimed the Open Men’s grade after beating Auckland in the final, whilst Northern Districts also bested Auckland to take out the Open Women’s grade and Wellington prevailed in the 22 and Under Men’s competition.

The announcement follows on from the naming of Australia’s squads following their National Championships last month.

The tri-annual tournament was last held in 2017 in the UAE and has been delayed for two years due to the impacts of COVID-19. The competition is also expected to feature England, South Africa India, Sri Lanka, UAE, Singapore, and Malaysia.

It represents yet another chance for New Zealand to claim an elusive Open’s level World Cup title and best their Trans-Tasman rivals Australia, who have long dominated this version of the game. Australia have won all 10 Men’s and nine Women’s editions of the tournament, stretching back to the first tournament in England in 1995. New Zealand’s Open Men’s side have finished runners-up to Australia seven times, including the last edition in Dubai, with their closest finish being in Brisbane in 2009, when they lost by 11 runs. New Zealand’s Open Women’s side will also be hoping to improve on their finish in Dubai, when they came up short against South Africa in the preliminary final. They have made the final twice in World Cups to date.

Open Men strengthen stocks in bid for first World Cup title

New Zealand’s Open Men’s team has a slightly different look to it from the last time they played international cricket, however it has the balance of a good core squad with plenty of experience in this line-up. Their last set of international matches was in September 2019, when they hosted Australia in Palmerston North, going down 3-2 in the five-match series.

From that series, there are six players included in coach Leigh Kelly’s squad – captain Victor Davies and Stacy Hyndman (Auckland), Kieran Butler (Wellington), Corey Perrett (Southern Districts), Mitchell Gardener (Canterbury), and Dion Joll (Central Districts).

That team is bolstered by the veteran Auckland duo of Darrin Crook and current Auckland Aces player Michael Barry. There is also a recall for Auckland’s Matt Latham, brother of BlackCaps stand-in captain Tom, as well as debuts for Toby Findlay and former New Zealand Under-19 representative Todd Watson from Central Districts.

The team is rounded out by the inclusion of the 37-year-old Ryder, a destructive top-order batsman who played 18 Tests, 48 ODIs and 22 T20Is for New Zealand from 2008-14. Ryder’s talent took him to the overseas T20 leagues, playing in the likes of the IPL and CPL, and he also had a stellar domestic career, spanning 131 first-class appearances and 178 List A matches, which continued on into the end of the 2017/18 season. Ryder has had a passion for the indoor cricket from an early age, and his undoubted talent in all facets of the game, including being a more than useful wicketkeeper, has brought him back into the representative fold in the last few years (including featuring at the 2017 World Cup).

Open Women build on core group of domestic experience

The Open Women’s team will expect a tough assignment from Australia at the tournament, as well as the likes of South Africa. However, they have built on the team that also played against Australia in September 2019, with coach Natasha Williams carrying forward seven players from that series which they lost 3-2. Auckland and Northern Districts’ players dominate that squad, with several having already played on the outdoor cricket domestic circuit and continuing their pathway in indoor cricket over the winter.

That series includes former Auckland Hearts’ player and skipper Lucille Matthews, and her former Hearts teammates Regina Lilii and Roz McNeill (Auckland). The current crop of Hearts’ players in the team include Skye Bowden, Natasha Van Tillburg, and Amberley Parr from Northern Districts, as well as Gemma Krebs from Wellington.

That team is further strengthened by the inclusion of Pam Yates from Auckland, and there will also be debuts for Makaylah Mason-Jones (Auckland), Katie Morris (Canterbury), and Marama Downes and Aria Mischewski (Northern Districts). Downes, Mason-Jones and Morris have previously played at the 22 and Under Women’s level.

The Indoor Cricket World Cup takes place from Casey Stadium, Melbourne, from 8-15 October, just prior to the T20 World Cup which is being held across Australia.

New Zealand Squads for the 2022 Indoor Cricket World Cup:

Open Men

Victor Davies (C), Darrin Crook, Stacy Hyndman, Matt Latham, Michael Barry (Auckland),

Mitchell Gardner (Canterbury), Dion Joll, Todd Watson, Jesse Ryder, Toby Findlay (Central Districts), Corey Perrett (Southern Districts), Kieran Butler (Wellington)

Coach: Leigh Kelly

Assistant Coach: Jon Routhan

Manager: Tony Watkins

Video Analyst: Ian Collins

Open Women

Lucille Mathews (C), Regina Lilii, Roz McNeill, Pam Yates, Makaylah Mason-Jones (Auckland), Katie Morris (Canterbury), Skye Bowden, Marama Downes, Amberley Parr, Natasha Van Tilburg, Aria Mischewski (Northern Districts), Gemma Krebs (Wellington)

Coach: Natasha Williams

Manager: David Nagel

22 and Under Men

Liam McCarthy, Harlin Amaral (Auckland), Jackson Hemingway, Curtis Millard, Ryan James (Canterbury), Bayley Latter (Central Districts), Ewald Schreuder (Northern Districts), Micah Conroy (C), Ryan Jackson, Matthew Scoble, Regan Craig, Rogan Vekony (Wellington)

Coach: Paul Anderson

Assistant Coach: Sunnie Chan

Manager: James Kirk

22 and Under Women

Breearne Illing (Auckland), Saffron Wilson (VC), Tatiana Gibbs (Canterbury), Aniela Apperley (Central Districts), Amie Hucker, Isabelle O’Connell, Brooke James, Holly Top (Northern Districts), Xara Jetly (C), Hannah Kells, Antonia Hamilton (Wellington)

Coach: Robin James

Assistant Coach: Kim Scott

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