Williamson, Boult, Southee return for NZ's West Indies tour

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New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson leaves the field after their loss on the fifth day of the third cricket test match against England at Headingley in Leeds, England, Monday, June 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Captain Kane Williamson will return from a short break to lead a strengthened New Zealand cricket team on its first tour of the Caribbean in eight years.

New Zealand will play the West Indies in three one-day and three Twenty20 internationals in a packed Aug. 10-21 schedule. The first match is the opening T20 on Aug. 10 at Kingston, Jamaica.

Batters Tom Latham and Devon Conway and fast bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee also will rejoin the team after returning home early from its recent tours to England, Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands.

New Zealand has rotated players throughout those series to manage the high workload in a season in which the team faces matches in one of three formats in every month in 2022.

The West Indies series is important to New Zealand as part of its buildup to the T20 World Cup and because it carries qualification points for the one-day World Cup.

New Zealand last played the West Indies in the Caribbean in 2014.

“It’s always exciting to be heading somewhere you’ve not been in a while and I know this group can’t wait for the challenge of taking on the West Indies in the Caribbean,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said.

“Managing workloads is hugely important this year with the team playing some form of cricket every month in 2022 and this applies to both players and staff.

“For Kane, Trent, Tim and Devon this will be the first time they have played white ball cricket for New Zealand since last year’s T20 World Cup and tour to India, so this trip will be important for them.”

The 15-man New Zealand squad also includes Michael Bracewell and Finn Allen who performed well during recent white ball matches.

“As a selector it’s been great to see these guys push their cases,” Stead said.

Stead will be assisted on tour by batting coach Dean Brownlie and bowling coach Graeme Aldridge.

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New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.

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