Tom Blundell Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Tom Blundell

Tim Southee
Tim Southee
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Tim Southee Auctioning One Of His Shirts For 8 Year Old Hollie Beattie Suffering From Rare Cancer

Tim Southee, the Black Caps pace bowler is auctioning off one of his shirts from the World Test Championship final to raise money for a brave young girl and her family.

Tim Southee has put up one of his jerseys – signed by the entire team – in the hopes of raising funds for eight-year-old Hollie Beattie.

The shirt is signed by the entire Black Caps squad. (Twitter/NZCPA)
The shirt is signed by the entire Black Caps squad. (Twitter/NZCPA)

Tim SoutheeTim Southee Auctioning One Of His Shirts For 8 Year Old Hollie Beattie Suffering From Rare Cancer 1Tim Southee Auctioning One Of His Shirts For 8 Year Old Hollie Beattie Suffering From Rare Cancer 1 Who Took 5 Wickets In The WTC Final Auctioning Jersey To Raise Funds For A Girl Batling Cancer

Hollie Beattie was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer called neuroblastoma in 2018 and her family has been fighting with her since.

“My family first learned about Hollie’s story a couple of years ago through the cricket community and I have always been struck by the Beattie family’s perseverance, strength and positive attitude,” Tim Southee said on the jersey’s auction page.

“Since hearing that Hollie required more treatment I have been trying to find a way to support in some small way,” said Tim Southee.

Tim Southee said he learnt about Beattie's condition a couple of years ago and has been trying to help her ever since. - GETTY IMAGES
Tim Southee said he learned about Beattie’s condition a couple of years ago and has been trying to help her ever since. – GETTY IMAGES

Tim Southee was instrumental in the eight-wicket win over India in Southampton last week in the WTC final, taking five wickets in the match of which four came in the crucial second innings.

“I am hopeful that this shirt can help contribute in some way to the Beattie family’s ongoing medical needs as Hollie continues to fight. As a parent, my heart goes out to them as they battle on.”

Hollie Beattie and her mother flew to Barcelona in January this year to continue treatment on cancer in her brain and spinal fluid but the family has been hit with another painful setback.

“In April, their worst fears were realized when cancer in Hollie’s bone marrow relapsed and she had to be removed from the trial that she was already on,” Hollie’s Givealittle page says.

“The impact on the family left them devastated once again, but this time they were apart and unable to support each other in person. Thankfully Hollie is in Spain where the latest treatments are available in the form of immunotherapy for relapsed Neuroblastoma in bone marrow, but of course the family is now facing astronomical costs again for the treatment and their stay in Spain is likely to extend towards the end of this year.”

“The strain they are under is unfathomable. It has been indicated that the new immunotherapy treatment will cost in the region of $300,000, which is an overwhelming amount to be faced with yet again. We’ve done it before, and as a team, we can do it again.”

The Kiwis made full use of the slender 32-run lead acquired in the first innings and the Kane Williamson-led side bundled out India cheaply in the second innings to get a target of just 139. The batsmen did not relent and in the end, the side walked away with a comfortable victory in the WTC Final. The architects of New Zealand’s victory were Kane Williamson(49 and 52*), Kyle Jamieson (5/31 in the 1st innings), and Tim Southee (4/48 in the 2nd innings).

Hollie Beattie’s Cause Supported By Martin Guptill And Tom Blundell

It’s not the first time a Black Cap has helped Hollie Beattie’s cause with batsman Martin Guptill last year using a special bat in a T20 against the West Indies, which he later auctioned off to help. To help raise awareness for Hope for Hollie campaign, Martin Guptill played with a customised Kookaburra bat decked out in her favourite colours in a New Zealand against West Indies match at Eden Park in Auckland in November 2020.

Tom Blundell Coloured Grip For Hollie Beatttie
Tom Blundell Coloured Grip For Hollie Beattie
“The Beattie family’s strength serves as a great reminder that whatever we may go through on the cricket field with success and failure it’s nothing compared to the challenges faced by those suffering from their health like Hollie,” Tim Southee said.
Tom Blundell, who scored his second Test hundred against Australia in Melbourne in 2019 was spotted batting with a multi-coloured batting grip. After the end of the Test, it was revealed that Tom Blundell used the grip to support a then six-year-old Hollie Beattie who is battling cancer.  The auction for Tim Southee’s jersey closes next Thursday at 8:15 pm.
Tom Latham is an underrated weapon for the Black Caps. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 29: Tom Latham of New Zealand bats during day 1 of the second Test match between New Zealand and England at Seddon Park on November 29, 2019 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
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Tom Latham Leads New Zealand To First Series Win In The UK Since 1999

Tom Latham led the New Zealand team to a memorable 1-0 Test series triumph in the two-match series against hosts England, in the absence of injured Kane Williamson, which is their first in the UK since 1999.

Tom Latham, New Zealand vice-captain on Sunday said of their challengers for the World Test Championship crown, describing the Virat-Kohli unit as a “completely different side” from vanquished England.

New Zealand's Tom Latham, left, holds the winners' trophy as he stands with teammate Kane Williamson after their win in the second cricket test match against England at Edgbaston. (Photo | AP)
New Zealand’s Tom Latham holds the winners’ trophy.  (Photo | AP)

Tom Latham: India Has Got A Fantastic Set Of Bowlers And Quality Batsmen

Kane Williamson (elbow), BJ Watling (back), and Mitchel Santner (finger) were ruled out before the toss in the 2nd Test through injury and were replaced by Will Young, Tom Blundell, and Ajaz Patel. Trent Boult and Matt Henry shared the new ball in place of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, while Daryl Mitchell replaced Colin de Grandhomme at number seven as New Zealand made as many as 6 changes from the 1st Test.

Asked where does he see the biggest danger from India coming, Latham said, “All around the board.”

“They’ve got a fantastic set of bowlers, a lot of quality batsmen that have scored runs in different conditions all round the world. They were over here a few years ago and played really well, so we know we’ll have to play well to beat them.”

Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)
Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

While the team celebrated a fine series triumph, Tom Latham said the focus will shift to India in two days’ time.

“The preparation has been great but it’s important that we do shift our focus and adapt to a completely different side,” he said at the post-match press conference.

Ishant Sharma(3/36) and Rishabh Pant have been some of the best performers in the ongoing India intra-squad practice match in Southampton before the WTC final. Openers Shubman Gill (85 off 135 balls) and Rishabh Pant (121* off 94 balls) shone with the bat. Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 54 off 76 balls in India’s intra-squad practice match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. With the ball, Mohammed Siraj impressed with figures of 2/22 on the third day of the four-day practice match.

The duo of Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway are in terrific form of late. Henry Nicholls who has a Test career average of 43.4 has averaged 47.3 in 2020 and 65.5 in 2021 amassing more than 500 runs combined in the last two years. Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable inning of 80 in the 2nd Test against England.

Tom Latham Stresses On Celebrating Since It Was Their First Test Series Win Since 1999 In England

Tom Latham said that India’s performances on their tour of England in 2018 — albeit in a 4-1 series defeat — showed that they would be tough to beat at the Ageas Bowl. The inaugural WTC final is scheduled to be held in Southampton from June 18-23. With the match finishing in under four days, the Kiwis will get a day extra to rest and prepare for the India challenge.

“Great to put the feet up for a day, the big challenge coming up but looking forward to celebrating, haven’t won here since 1999, so celebrate tonight and then look forward,” Latham said.

“Great support from Kiwis, the English, and also back home. The atmosphere was amazing.”

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)

New Zealand won the match by eight wickets and when asked what he would rate higher — a series triumph in England or a victory in the WTC final — Tom Latham said both.

“Both sounds pretty good. From our point of view, it was about coming here and focusing on these first two Test matches against England and trying to continue doing what we’ve been doing over a couple of years now.

“Now that we’ve ticked them off, it’s important that our focus shifts to India in a couple of days. It’s a fantastic achievement from the group. I think it’s important that we celebrate with each other. It hasn’t been done since ’99. It’s certainly an achievement that’s worth celebrating.”

“For us to come here as a group, it was about trying to play our brand of cricket and I thought we did that really well over the four days and got our rewards at the end.”

New Zealand’s first Test series win in England in 22 years moved them back to the top of the ICC rankings ahead of India. This was England’s first home Test series defeat since 2014.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Ravichandran Ashwin Explains Why He Is Successful Against The Left Handers

Ravichandran Ashwin has bagged more than 200 wickets of left-handers in Test cricket and he has explained why he is so successful against the southpaws.

The senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin loves bowling to the left-handers. He is known to trouble the southpaws with challenging lines and lengths and uses his variations to great effect.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin Thinks His Success Against Left-Handers Is Due To Challenging Both Sides Of Batsman’s Edge

In an interview with Sportstar, he revealed that he has enjoyed great success against them as he challenges both sides of the bat. In the history of Test cricket, he is the only bowler to dismiss left-handers more than 200 times. In the upcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand, he will be up against the likes of in-form batsmen Tom Latham, Devon Conway, and Henry Nicholls.

“I would like to think that it is because I challenge both sides of the edge. I get a batsman out through the inside edge and the outside and get the slip, short leg, and silly point in the play. I think that is one of the reasons the left-handers find it difficult. Also, I change the angle; I go over the wicket and to the extremes for around the stumps also. So challenging both sides of the bat gives me the edge,” explained Ravichandran Ashwin.

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images

The duo of Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway are in terrific form of late. Henry Nicholls who has a Test career average of 43.4 has averaged 47.3 in 2020 and 65.5 in 2021 amassing more than 500 runs combined in the last two years. Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable inning of 80 in the 2nd Test against England.

Ravichandran Ashwin: New Zealand Is A Fantastic Team Having Quality Cricketers

Responding to whether the Kiwis will enjoy an advantage of Virat Kohli-led India because of their two-match Test series against England prior to the finale, Ravichandran Ashwin added that the Black Caps are a fantastic team.

“We have played well to get to the World Test Championship final, and we are deservedly there. They are a fantastic team and have a lot of exciting cricketers. The fact that they would have played a couple of Test matches before the final will be good preparation for them. So we have to adapt; use our experience, and be ready,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee

Virat Kohli-led India’s batsmen haven’t quite proved themselves yet against the swinging ball and their techniques were exposed on the New Zealand tour in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton. The inaugural WTC final will take place at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, beginning on June 18.

Kane Williamson (elbow), BJ Watling (back), and Mitchel Santner (finger) were ruled out before the toss in the 2nd Test through injury and were replaced by Will Young, Tom Blundell, and Ajaz Patel. Trent Boult and Matt Henry shared the new ball in place of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, while Daryl Mitchell replaced Colin de Grandhomme at number seven as New Zealand made as many as 6 changes from the 1st Test.

A devastating opening spell from Matt Henry backed up by Neil Wagner and later Ajaz Patel snuffed out England’s hopes on the third day of the ongoing second Test at Edgbaston. England was left reeling at 3 for 30 as Matt Henry tore through their top order on either side of tea and by the close, they were nine down and just 37 runs ahead.
Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra (Image Credit: Facebook)
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Aakash Chopra Reveals His Top Three Present Test Opening Pairs

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra recently discussed the present Test opening partners and chose his top three Test opening pairs at present.

The 42-year-old Aakash Chopra feels that the present openers are not strong enough against the swing balls, while the past great opening partners showed their skills how to deal it.

Aakash Chopra, Test opening pair, Test opening partner
Aakash Chopra (Image Credit: Twitter)

In his recent YouTube video, Chopra first named the top five Test opening pairs ever with their averages and these players were Gambhir-Virender Sehwag (average 52.5), Matthew Hayden-Justin Langer (average 51.9), Gordon Greenidge-Desmond Haynes (average 47.3), Alastair Cook-Andrew Strauss (average 40.9) and Graeme Smith-Herschelle Gibbs (average 56.3).

Then Chopra talked about the present Test openers. While he recently saw the English Test openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley, the former Indian Test opener has felt ok with them but unsure about their long-term future.

Chopra also talked about the South African Test openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram. While both of them haven’t maintained the Test batting average over 30 in the last two years, their last two years’ Test partnership average is very unimpressive 12.5.

Aakash Chopra also talked about Warner-Burns, Latham-Blundel; and Rohit-Mayank

Chopra then focused on the Australian Test opening pair David Warner and Joe Burns. While their last two years’ opening partnership average is 65.4, Chopra is definitely impressed with this record. But while Warner hasn’t impressed in India and the challenging conditions yet and Burns hasn’t played a Test in India yet, the former Indian cricketer is not ready to consider them as the best Test opening pair at present.

Test opening pair, Test opening partner
Joe Burns and David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)

Then Chopra praised the New Zealand Test openers, Tom Latham and Tom Blundell. While their last two years’ Test opening partnership average is 47.14, Chopra is impressed as they have come out with some great batting instances in their challenging home condition.

Test opening pair, Test opening partner
New Zealand cricketers Tom Blundell and Tom Latham (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chopra then named the new Indian Test opening pair Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal. While their last two years’ Test opening partnership average is 69.16, both of them have also managed to maintain their batting average over 50 as the Test batting openers. The former Indian opening batsman praised both of them but he feels that it is too early to call them as the best Test opening pair at present as this opening partners haven’t been tested outside India yet.

Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Test opening pair, Test opening partner
Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: BCCI Twitter)

Aakash Chopra’s top three Test opening pairs

At the end of that discussion, Chopra selected Latham-Blundell as his best Test opening pair at present while he put Rohit-Mayank at close to them but in the second position. His third-best choice in this list is Warner-Burns, but Chopra isn’t totally convinced on their ability to bat in the challenging condition.

Jasprit Bumrah,
Jasprit Bumrah. Photo Credit: Twitter.
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Watch: Jasprit Bumrah Bowls A Beauty To Dismiss Tom Blundell

India had lost the Test series 2-0 against New Zealand but there has been still a positive, to drive out from the series i.e, Jasprit Bumrah. He was back in his old form, knocking out the stumps of opposition batsman at will. On the third day of the second Test match, Bumrah bowled a remarkable delivery only to sent back New Zealand opener Tom Blundell.

On Monday, the day resumed with India at 90 for six while Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant were batting in the middle. But India could add only 34 runs to their overnight score and were all out for 124. Trent Boult and Tim Southee finished things by dismissing India’s lower-order batsmen.

In reply, Tom Latham and Blundell set up a strong partnership before Umesh Yadav picked the wicket of the former. The duo added 103 runs before hosts seal the victory for the team.

Jasprit Bumrah’s bowled brilliantly:

Tom latham, Tom Blundell, new Zealand vs India 2020, Jasprit Bumrah

Although Bumrah’s comeback was late, his celebration was no different after taking the wicket of Blundell. It was a sharp inswinger from the pacer which passed through Blundell’s bat and pad.

The ball went on to knock out the batsman’s off stump. His delivery proved that he has slowly and steadily gained his form back.

The clip shows how Jasprit Bumrah has dismissed Tom Blundell:

While the game had gone from India’s hand, Bumrah’s bowling had surely given relief to Virat Kohli. The India pace spearhead has struggled to pick up wickets since returning from the long injury but now everything looks well.

India had something to take home despite Test series loss:

Watch: Jasprit Bumrah Bowls A Beauty To Dismiss Tom Blundell 3
Virat Kohli was pumped up after Williamson’s dismissal. Credits: BCCI Twitter

Earlier, Bumrah has also picked the wicket of Kiwi’s skipper Kane Williamson.

In the second Test match, he collected five wickets as two came from New Zealand’s second innings. The hosts won the second game by seven wickets while they won the first Test match by 10 wickets.

Thus, New Zealand managed to clean sweep India in the Test series.

Tom Blundell. Credits: ICC Twitter
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NZ vs IND 2020: Tom Blundell Not To Take Field On Day 3, To Go Under Assessment

New Zealand opening batsman Tom Blundell will not take the field on Day three of the ongoing first Test match at Basin Reserve, Wellington. Blundell hurt his shoulder while fielding on Day three and he will now undergo assessment. He will be under the assessment for Day four too. Meanwhile, Tom Blundell had scored 30 runs from 80 balls in the first innings.

Also Read: Twitterati Wants Shubman Gill in 2nd Test As Prithvi Shaw Failed to Live Up to the Expectations

On the other hand, New Zealand has put themselves in command as they have scalped four wickets. The visitors are 115-4 and they still are in arrears by 68 runs. The Kiwis have also got the big wicket of Indian skipper Virat Kohli. New Zealand’s pack leader Trent Boult bowled from round the wicket and tested Kohli with a short-pitched delivery.

Tom Blundell, New Zealand
Tom Blundell (Image Credit: Getty Images)

New Zealand is in command.

The Indian captain who has looked out of sorts on this tour went for the pull shot but got a faint edge to the keeper, BJ Watling. The visitors once again got off to a bad start as Prithvi Shaw was dismissed cheaply for 14 runs. Subsequently, Pujara made an error in judgment to leave the ball which was coming back into him.

Read More: New Zealand Team Clarifies Injury Status Of Kane Williamson

Furthermore, Mayank Agarwal was unlucky as he was dismissed by an innocuous delivery down the leg-side. Meanwhile, New Zealand posted 348 runs in the first innings as the tail was able to wag around. The debutant Kyle Jamieson continued to have a good Test match as he scored 44 runs from 45 balls with the help of one four and four sixes.

Boult, Cheteshwar Pujara
Trent Boult. Credits: Blackcaps Twitter.

Moreover, Trent Boult raced to 24-ball 38 with the help of five fours and one six to give a lead of 183 runs to his team. On the other side, Ishant Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers as the lanky fast bowler scalped five wickets.

Meanwhile, Hanuma Vihari has joined forces with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane as India is under the cosh.

Nigel Llong, Australia vs New Zealand
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That’s A Terrible, Terrible Decision” Brendon McCullum On Umpires Wrong Decision During Australia vs New Zealand

Umpires play a crucial role in leading the team to win or lose any cricket match. The entire game depends on umpires’ decisions. Though sometimes the limited Decision Review System (DRS) can help you to reverse his decision, this can’t happen all the time. One of the Umpire’s decisions, which have currently surprised everyone, was taken during the Test match between Australia and New Zealand.

When Tom Blundell was batting at 90 during the fourth innings of the Test match, James Pattinson‘s ball hit his thigh guard. The bowler appealed for lbw and the umpire Nigel Llong raised his finger. Blundell was sure that he was not out, so he immediately took the review.

The review showed that the ball was sailing well above the stumps and it was clearly missing the stumps. Luckily, New Zealand had a review that overturned the decision of the umpire, Nigel Llong. However, the Kiwi lost the match against Australia. But Tom Blundell went on to score a century for his team.

So, it can be said that Umpire’s decision plays a crucial part in the match. Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who was the commentator in that Test, also gave a mouthful to the on-field umpire. He was disappointed with the poor level of umpiring throughout the Test match.

“That’s a terrible, terrible decision – not for the first time this Test,” McCullum said on SEN. “That’s going over the top by afoot. It’s closer to being over shoulder height than it was to hit the stumps,” he added.

Australia beat New Zealand in that second Test by 247 runs

Meanwhile, Australia has already won the three-match series with 2-0, and still, one Test match is left. In the fourth innings of this second Test match, New Zealand player lost its wicket early as nobody could touch the mark of fifty except Tom Blundell who scored 121 runs. New Zealand was bundled out for 240 runs in the fourth innings, and Australia won the match by 247 runs.

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Trent Boult Returns For Boxing Day Fixture Along With Tom Blundell, Australia To Name Playing XI At Toss

New Zealand will be bolstered by the comeback of senior pacer Trent Bolt for the Boxing Day Fixture against Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Boult had missed the first Test in Perth due to pain in his ribs. He was confirmed to be back for the second Test and with Lockie Ferguson ruled out, New Zealand didn’t have to make a call on any of the pacers.

Also Read: Ashok Dinda dropped from Ranji Trophy squad for abusing bowling coach

Boult had suffered pain in his ribs during the opening Test against England, following which he missed the second Test. Ferguson, who was called for the England Tests, wasn’t given his debut cap. He played his first Test in Perth but couldn’t play the full game due to calf issue.

Tom Blundell, New Zealand
Tom Blundell (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Apart from Boult, the Kiwis will also have Tom Blundell in the playing XI. The wicketkeeper-batsman will replace opener Jeet Raval, who averages 7.3 in past nine Test matches. New Zealand continued to back him despite diminishing returns but have taken a call him following his scores his poor outing in Perth.

Blundell has played two Tests, both in 2017 against West Indies. Coming in for BJ Watling, he scored a century on his debut but had to be dropped when Watling returned. He was also a part of World Cup 2019 squad but didn’t get to play a match despite his century in the practice match.

He will play the Test as a specialist batsman. Other members who played the Perth Test will keep their spots.

Also Read: Jasprit Bumrah Pulled Out Of Ranji Trophy Fixture By Team Management

Australia, on the other hand, have decided against revealing their playing XI and will wait until the toss. Interestingly, there is every possibility that Michael Neser, who has sat out for eight Test matches now, could be included in the playing XI.

Trent Boult Returns For Boxing Day Fixture Along With Tom Blundell, Australia To Name Playing XI At Toss 6
Photo Credit: AP.

James Pattinson has already been confirmed to make a return in place of an injured Josh Hazlewood. Peter Siddle, his replacement, is next to Neser in the pecking order and stands no chance to be included in the playing XI.

David Warner, who suffered a blow to his left hand during the training session, is fit and will open the innings along with Joe Burns.

New Zealand’s playing XI: Tom Blundell, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner

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Jimmy Neesham and Tom Blundell Handed New Zealand Central Contracts

New Zealand players Jimmy Neesham, Tom Blundell and Will Young has been offered central contracts of the New Zealand cricket team and will be part of the group of 20 players who have been handed central contracts. The trio of Jimmy Neesham, Tom Blundell and Will Young has replaced the likes of Adam Milne, Corey Anderson and George Worker whose name has been removed from the list. They were part of the central contracts list back in 2018-19.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Neesham who is an impressive all-rounder and wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell have been included in the preliminary 15 member World Cup squad. Blundell, the 26-year-old wicket-keeper batsman who recently made his Test debut against Bangladesh. The final Test of the series was washed out after the Christchurch terror attack.

Meanwhile, Tim Seifert who missed out on a World Cup berth as Blundell was preferred also missed out to make the contract list. This is the very first time that players like Jimmy Neeshan and Tom Blundell have bagged their central contract. Jimmy Neesham missed out on the central contract after a horrendous run of form with the bat last year.

Jimmy Neesham and Tom Blundell Handed New Zealand Central Contracts 7
New Zealand (Credits: Getty)

Neesham had earlier stated that it was not long ago that he contemplated retirement before making a successful return to the New Zealand World Cup squad. Neesham is a fantastic striker of the ball and can also bowl some handy medium pacers.

“Jimmy had a very good season and made excellent progress with Wellington, New Zealand A and the Blackcaps. He’s made every post a winning one,” selector Gavin Larsen said. “Will receives an offer on the basis of the sheer weight of runs he scored last season, both for New Zealand A and the Central Stags.

“Tom has acted as a back-up for BJ Watling on the tour of UAE, has recently played for New Zealand A and is in the World Cup squad as the wicket-keeping understudy for Tom Latham. We see this offer as a strong vote of confidence in his future.”

Jimmy Neesham and Tom Blundell Handed New Zealand Central Contracts 8
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Players offered central contracts for 2019-20 Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

Credits: Getty
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Breaking: New Zealand Announce Their Squad For ICC World Cup 2019

New Zealand, on Wednesday, became the first team to announce the 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup. The Black Caps have sprung a big surprise by picking up wicketkeeper Tom Blundell who is yet to play in One-Day Internationals. The 28-year old has so far played just two Tests and three T20Is for New Zealand. Blundll, who scored a century on his Test debut, will be backup to the incumbent Tom Latham.

Interestingly, Blundell has not even played for New Zealand since February last year. His last Test appearance came in 2017 while he played last of his three T20Is early last year.  He did not even play a single game for Wellington in New Zealand’s domestic one-day competition this season.

With Blundell named in the team, Tim Seifert had to make way. Seifert was the preferred wicketkeeper in T20 internationals this season and made his ODI debut a couple of months agao against Sri Lanka. Moreover, Seifert had also impressed by playing knocks of 84 and 43 while opening against India in T20Is. Unfortunately, he broke his finger towards the end of the season.

Breaking: New Zealand Announce Their Squad For ICC World Cup 2019 9
Tom Blundell (Credits: Getty)

Seifert was likely to recover before the start of the World Cup but there were some question marks over his work behind the stumps.

Head coach Gary Stead said he would prefer to select a specialist to back up Latham who took the role in the ODI side two years ago.

“As with any squad named for a major tournament, there’s had to be some tough calls and there will be some disappointed players,”  Gary Stead said.

“The key for us was finding the right balance for the squad and making sure we had our bases covered for what is going to be a very competitive World Cup. As a one-day unit we’ve been pretty consistent over the past few years and possess a very experienced group of core players, proven at the top level,” he added.

In another surprise call, New Zealand named spinner Ish Sodhi in the squad ahead of Todd Astle. Sodhi perhaps made the cut after taking 24 wickets at 21.17 in his final three first-class games in March.

Breaking: New Zealand Announce Their Squad For ICC World Cup 2019 10
New Zealand (Credits: Getty)

On the other hand, opener Colin Munro also retained his place in the squad but is likely to remain a reserve opener. Henry Nicholls is likely to open the batting with Martin Guptill. James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme were named as the all-rounders. The fast-bowling department consists of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry.

New Zealand will open their campaign against Sri Lanka on June 1.

New Zealand Squad:

Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.