Cricket: Michael Bracewell named to captain depleted Blackcaps side for Twenty20 tour to Pakistan

  • 03/04/2024
Michael Bracewell.
Michael Bracewell. Photo credit: Photosport

Michael Bracewell will lead an under-strength Blackcaps squad for their upcoming five-match Twenty20 international series against Pakistan.

Bracewell will captain New Zealand for the first time, after working his way back to full fitness from an achilles injury sustained in England last year.  

The allrounder hasn't played a T20 for the Blackcaps since their tour of India in February 2023.

The squad is without a host of first choice players, including veteran seamer Tim Southee.  

As reported by Newshub last month, Southee will skip the series to rest after a busy schedule across all formats, as he prioritises a bumper tour of Asia.

Tim Robinson.
Tim Robinson. Photo credit: Getty Images

New Zealand will play one test against Afghanistan, two tests in Sri Lanka and three tests in India, in September and October.

Unavailable due to Indian Premier League commitments are Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner and Kane Williamson.

Will Young was also unavailable for selection as he takes up a winter contract with Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, as was Tom Latham, who is awaiting the birth of his second child.

The squad features two new names in batter Tim Robinson and bowler Will O'Rourke.

Robinson earns his maiden selection courtesy of a stand-out Super Smash campaign, where he finished as the second-highest run scorer in the men's competition, despite playing only six of the Firebirds' eleven games due to injury.

O'Rourke backs up from an impressive maiden test campaign with the Blackcaps, marking his debut against South Africa with figures of 9/93 - the best by an NZ debutant.

The squad departs for Pakistan on April 12, with the first match against Pakistan in Rawalpindi on April 18.