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Thread: New Zealand Off Season 2014

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    International Regular Kippax's Avatar
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    New Zealand Off Season 2014

    Kiwi flavour added to Worcestershire (From Worcester News)

    WORCESTERSHIRE have snapped up a brace of New Zealanders to bolster their overseas options.

    Hard-hitting batsman Colin Munro, 27, will be the County’s second overseas player for the NatWest T20 Blast from mid-May until August alongside Saeed Ajmal.

    Left-arm paceman Mitchell McClenaghan will replace Saeed for six weeks in July and August when the Pakistani spinner competes in the Caribbean Premier League.

    Director of cricket Steve Rhodes believes the duo, who were part of the Kiwis’ squad for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh, possess “match-winning pedigree” and will aid the County’s push for honours.


    McClenaghan, 27, can play in three NatWest T20 Blast matches, all eight 50-over Royal London One-Day Cup group games and three County Championship fixtures before Saeed returns in August for the rest of the season.

    Rhodes said: “Colin and Mitch played in the ICC World Twenty and both have match-winning pedigrees.

    “We came across Colin in Abu Dhabi on our recent pre-season tour and I was immediately impressed with the way he struck the ball against us (in making 47 off 28 balls).

    “His strike-rate of an equal amount of sixes to fours in T20 cricket shows the way he plays the game and I look forward to him showing some of his boundary-hitting to the Worcestershire fans.”

    South Africa-born Munro has a strike-rate of 130 in T20 internationals and his explosive fire-power boosts County hopes of reaching finals day for the first time.

    He has played seven ODIs, 14 T20 internationals and one Test.

    Munro added: “I am really excited and delighted to have the opportunity to join Worcestershire for the revamped NatWest T20 Blast and look forward to putting in some match-winning performances.”

    On McClenaghan, Rhodes said: “Mitch will replace Saeed and play three T20 games alongside Colin to give a real Kiwi flavour to our team.

    “His aggressive and quick left-arm bowling will be important in our push in both competitions.”

    McClenaghan starred for his country in last summer’s ICC Champions Trophy with 11 wickets in three games before a successful Twenty20 spell with Lancashire.

    He figured in all four World Twenty20 matches in Bangladesh, taking four wickets, and has played 22 ODIs and 15 T20 internationals.

    McClenaghan said: “The opportunity to play all three forms of the game over my six-week stint will hopefully allow me to make a difference at an important time of the year.”
    Last edited by Kippax; 08-04-2014 at 02:50 AM.
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    International Regular Kippax's Avatar
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    Kiwi Williamson set to play key role as Yorkshire hit trophy trail - Yorkshire Post

    THE big question surrounding Yorkshire’s overseas signing last summer was this: He may be Kane, but is he able?

    Kane Williamson’s track record suggested that he was more than able of making a favourable impression, and so it proved as the New Zealand batsman scored 403 County Championship runs at 50.37 having joined for the final six weeks of the season.

    Now, back for a second stint at Headingley, the 23-year-old is keen to improve on those numbers. The success or otherwise of his mission could go a long way towards determining whether Yorkshire, in turn, improve on their runners-up finish last summer.

    Williamson has returned to Leeds a little older, a little wiser, and after a hectic winter in which he scored 1,391 runs in all cricket at 51.51. There were Test centuries against Bangladesh and India plus a strong level of consistency in all formats, culminating in some useful showings at the World Twenty20.

    And with just a six-week tour of West Indies starting in late May to take him away from Yorkshire this year, Williamson will be available for most of the campaign, with Australian batsman Aaron Finch a more than capable stand-in while he is away. Amid the hectic whirlpool of international cricket, Williamson admits it will be nice to call Yorkshire home – if only temporarily.

    “It’s great to come back here and sort of start afresh, I suppose, and to be able to call a place home for the best part of six months,” he said. “There’s the tour to the West Indies in a few weeks, but it’s nice to get back to Yorkshire and set up a base.

    “It’s been a pretty hectic calendar over the winter, and it was good to score a few runs along the way. We had quite a bit of success in the New Zealand summer, performing well against India, and I want to take my form into the English season now and improve on what I did in 2013.”

    Williamson was a reliable presence at No 3 as Yorkshire chased the Championship title. He scored five half-centuries in his nine innings, with a top score of 97 against Durham at Scarborough, and he says he jumped at the opportunity to return.

    “I was very quick to come back to Yorkshire,” he said. “There’s always a lot of things to consider –not least the busy international schedule. But the opportunity to come back and play with this side was fantastic. I really enjoyed my time last year with the players and the management, and from a personal perspective I think county cricket is really good for your development as you gain a lot of different experiences to move your game forward.”

    Yorkshire’s supporters will be hoping there is even more to come from Williamson this summer. His efforts could be vital to the team’s chances, particularly with uncertainty surrounding the availability of certain players such as England’s Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance.

    “I’d like a few big hundreds this year,” said Williamson. “Every time you play you want to score 350, and I just want to score as heavily as I can. I don’t think you’re ever quite satisfied with your performances, and I would have liked to have scored a few more last year. At the same time, it could have gone a lot worse for me, and the experience was something I thoroughly enjoyed.”

    Williamson saw enough last summer to convince him that Yorkshire are going places. There will be more pressure on them to perform this year but he is adamant they are up to the task.

    “We’ve got some outstanding cricketers in our group; we all know that,” he said. “I think if we can keep our feet on the ground and go steady, I’m sure we’ll deliver consistent displays. Each and every one of us will be looking to contribute as much as we possibly can, and if a handful of us come off consistently, that will go a long way towards winning cricket matches. I’m really excited about what lies ahead.”

    Yorkshire finalise preparations for the new Championship campaign when they play Northamptonshire in a three-day friendly at Wantage Road starting today.

    Yorkshire, who could field 12 players, will again be captained by Ballance, who took charge of the opening first-class game against Leeds-Bradford last week in the absence of the injured Andrew Gale (hip). Gale will sit out this game as a precaution ahead of the Championship opener against Somerset at Taunton, although he will travel to Wantage Road to take part in training.

    Yorkshire have confirmed that Tim Bresnan will not play in the Somerset match and that they are currently in discussions with England regarding his availability after the winter period.

    Yorkshire squad vs Northamptonshire: Lyth, Lees, Williamson, Ballance (capt), Bairstow, Rashid, Plunkett, Robinson, Patterson, Ashraf, Brooks, Carver.

  3. #3
    International Regular Kippax's Avatar
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    New Zealand A to UK 2014:
    Sun 27 July NZ A arrive
    Thu 31 July 1-day v Northamptonshire Northampton
    Sat 2 Aug* 1-day v Warwickshire Edgbaston

    ODI format Tri Series
    Tue 5 Aug NZ A v SL A Taunton
    Wed 6 Aug Lions v SL A Taunton
    Fri 8 Aug Lions v NZ A Bristol
    Sat 9 Aug NZ A v SL A Bristol
    Mon 11 Aug Lions v SL A Worcester
    Tue 12 Aug Lions v NZ A Worcester

    Wed 13 Aug Depart to play matches v 2015 World Cup's ICC European Associate Member nation(s) (detail tbc)
    Sat 23 Aug Return from playing ICC European Associate Member nation(s)

    Mon 25-Wed 27 Aug 3-day v Kent Canterbury
    Sun 31 Aug -Tue 2 Sep 3-day v Surrey Kia Oval
    Wed 3 Sep NZ A depart
    The scheduling of the competition is interesting, coming as it does right in the middle of the Royal London One-Day Cup – overlapping the fourth Test between England and India at Old Trafford as well. Counties could be down to the bare bones with both Test and Lions players absent from their squads during the congested List A block – a new feature of the county calendar next season.

    Many counties will also have an extra fixture to fit in to that schedule against one of the touring sides, with eight counties assigned fixtures against either New Zealand or Sri Lanka A. But, while the drain on resource may be undesirable for the county coaches, the administrators will be hoping that the lure of up-and-coming international prospects appearing at their grounds will be a boost to gate receipts.

    It’s also quite a handy exercise for the touring parties, giving both sides a sizeable fixture list with which to hone their skills in English conditions. For New Zealand and Sri Lanka, this could result in a couple of hopefuls putting their names forward for the 2015 World Cup, while counties may find a gem that they might fancy recruiting for the 2015 season.

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    International Captain Howsie's Avatar
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    So likely touring team anybody?

    Tom Latham, Hamish Rutherford, Michael Bracewell, Craig Cachopa, Daryl Mitchell, Dean Brownlie all likely you would have to think, Daniel Flynn too perhaps. Jimmy Neesham and Scott Kuggeleign the two all rounders, Ish Sodhi and Todd Astle the two spinners. Adam Milne, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry and hopefully at least one of Bevan Small or Ben Wheeler (although I wouldn't count on it).

    Have no Idea who would keep, Ronchi I guess. More of a first class squad really but most of them fit well enough into a one day team anyway (bar Astle).

    I'm surprised Guptill hasn't gone and gotten himself a county contract after missing out on the IPL, might be busy getting married though. Munro will already be over there playing cricket, likewise with Mitchy boy.
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    I'm not sure whether they'll take Neesham and Matt Henry given they're somewhat established. Milne needs the overs.

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    Henry has one odi to his name. hardly an established squad member.
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    International Captain hendrix's Avatar
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    Yeah true.

    Howsie has forgotten Bennett.

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    Players like Flynn, Rutherford, Sodhi and Brownlie may miss out as well, as it is a development/blooding side, rather than a 2nd XI.
    I think it timed after the WI series though so technically only those playing county cricket or Carribean Premier League will be unavailable.

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    International Regular Kippax's Avatar
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    "We pick genuine A sides, in terms of the next best players" - Bradburn.

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    So Carl Cachopa and Anton Devcich were better opening bats than Flynn/Raval this time last year.

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    International Regular Kippax's Avatar
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    De Grandhomme vs. Kuggs will probably be sent upstairs by Edgar to his video ref, Bradburn.

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    U19 Debutant jcas0167's Avatar
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    That Yorkshire side will have some serious batting when at full strength - Williamson, Root, Ballance & Bairstow. Seeing Williamson & Root bat together would be interesting, both young stars for their respective countries.

    Touring team: Latham, Pollard, M Bracewell, Craig Cachopa, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell, Brownlie, Santner, De Boorder, Kuggeleijn, Sodhi, Bennett, Henry, Milne.
    Last edited by jcas0167; 08-04-2014 at 09:18 PM.

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    Dan
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    Needs another 2 fast bowlers unless you want to be playing CdG as a specialist quick by the end of the tour, IMO.
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    U19 Debutant jcas0167's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Needs another 2 fast bowlers unless you want to be playing CdG as a specialist quick by the end of the tour, IMO.
    hmmm, I see I've only selected 14 so another spot is up for grabs...and it goes to Mark Gillespie. I might have one batsman too many, but I can't decide who to replace or who the next bowler would be.

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    Dan
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    Neesham?

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