The set-up is a departure from the 2009 edition, which had four groups of three teams, with the two teams from each group advancing to another league stage which determined the semi-finalists. Despite the change, the tournament features the same number of matches – 23 – as last year. The matches have been evenly distributed across four venues, with each stadium hosting at least five games.
Ross Taylor has been appointed New Zealand captain for the tri-series in Sri Lanka in August. The national selectors have rested two key senior players in regular captain Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum for the tournament in Dambulla, also involving India. Vettori and McCullum have both been granted paternity leave and will also spend their time away reconditioning themselves for the busy season ahead. Fast bowler Kyle Mills will be Taylor’s deputy.
The 15-man squad features the rookie batsman Kane Williamson, who led New Zealand in the 2008 Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia. He was called-up to the Test squad for the home series against Australia earlier this year, but is yet to make his international debut.
In what is another positive development for Zimbabwe as a host of sporting events, New Zealand Cricket has said that it would like to resume cricketing ties with the country, following a fruitful meeting between the sports ministers of the two countries in Wellington earlier this week.
David Coltart, the Zimbabwe sports minister, met his New Zealand counterpart, Murray McCully and the positive result of the meeting was the change of stance by the New Zealand government regarding cricketing tours to the southern African nation. NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan confirmed that he later met Coltart at Christchurch and was convinced the climate was conducive to resuming ties.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the itinerary of the ‘home’ series in the UAE against South Africa in October and November this year. The series will be shared between the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai International Cricket Stadium; the two grounds will join Sharjah, which has hosted Pakistan in the past, as Test venues in the UAE. The series will feature two Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is viewing its joint venture with United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) as a long-term investment that could even see USA host the ICC Champions Trophy, possibly after 2015.
“[2013 is] a real long shot. We talked about that, but ICC regulations require two venues pretty close to each other and at the moment we’ve only got one [in Florida],” NZC chief Justin Vaughan told the New Zealand Herald. “It also needs a number of practice facilities and at the moment there are no other turf wickets in Florida, so it would be a stretch. From the ICC’s perspective, and a commercial perspective, there would be a lot of enthusiasm for it, but it’s probably a bridge too far. ICC events beyond 2015, certainly that is something very much on the horizon.”
Nuwan Kulasekara found the perfect lines and lengths for the slow and low track that the USA has dished out, and ripped the heart out of New Zealand’s batting with three wickets in his first over. Although Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum, the only New Zealanders to reach double figures, avoided the ignominy of the lowest total in Twenty20 internationals, 81 was never going to test Sri Lanka even on this pitch.
Shane Bond has announced his retirement from all forms of the game, less than a year after making his international comeback from the ICL wilderness. Bond ended his Test career in December, when he felt that his body could not handle the rigours of the five-day game, and he has now decided to step away from the shorter formats as well.
After returning home from the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, where he collected five wickets at an average of 29, Bond said he was unwilling to compromise his own standards for the sake of prolonging his career. Bond turns 35 next month and he will leave the game nearly nine years after his international debut, with 259 victims across all formats for his country.
“Bowlers are almost going to be like pitchers, where you play a game and sit out the next, because of the amount of cricket played these days,” Bond told Cricinfo. “I worry that fast bowlers are going to withdraw from Test cricket early to play limited-overs cricket.”
England’s cricketers maintained their impressive momentum with their third win in three Super Eight fixtures, as New Zealand were outmuscled in their must-win Group E finale in St Lucia, and sent packing from the tournament by a three-wicket defeat that was more emphatic than the final margin suggested. Chasing 150 for victory after another disciplined bowling display led by Tim Bresnan, England were able to overcome a mid-innings wobble and a late clatter of wickets to coast to victory with five balls to spare, as Bresnan put the seal on a fine day’s work with 23 not out from 11 balls.
In a tournament of largely one-sided matches, New Zealand pulled off their second nail-biting victory and their first Twenty20 win over defending champions Pakistan, who are now on the brink of elimination. After rescuer-in-chief Daniel Vettori revived his side following the failure of big names, New Zealand survived an Abdul Razzaq onslaught and Salman Butt’s level-headed batting to come through by one run and boost their chances of making the semi-finals.
Pakistan’s army of spinners was outstanding in Barbados to keep New Zealand down to what seemed a below-par total, but once captain Shahid Afridi was dismissed in the 10th over following a middle-order collapse, the score was 58 for 5 and New Zealand looked in charge.