Bracewell, Cleaver earn maiden call-ups in New Zealand’s squad for Netherlands series

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All-rounder Michael Bracewell and wicketkeeper-batter Dane Cleaver on Tuesday earned their maiden New Zealand call-ups for the upcoming white-ball home series against Netherlands.

Bracewell had declined an opportunity to tour Bangladesh last September since he was awaiting the birth of his first child. The 31-year-old has been picked in both the squads but Cleaver has been chosen only for the one-off T20I. Both Bracewell and Cleaver were the top two run-getters in this season’s Super Smash, New Zealand’s domestic T20 competition, scoring 478 and 369 runs respectively.

Bracewell is in line to become the fourth member of his family to play for New Zealand, after his uncles John and Brendon, and his cousin Doug, who is also part of both white-ball squads.

“Both players have been on the national radar for some time and certainly deserve their selection off the back of another quality domestic season,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.  

“Michael is a superb ball-striker who can mix touch with his power, while his right arm offbreaks are an asset to any side. Dane… has been the stand-out wicketkeeper-batsman of the Super Smash in recent years. We felt Dane’s consistent weight of runs and the role he can play at the top of the order gave him the slight edge,” he added.

With 12 of New Zealand’s first-choice players missing the series to take part in the IPL 2022, fast bowlers Ben Sears and Scott Kuggeleijn were also named in the T20I squad.

“Anytime you lose 12 front-liners it’s going to be a challenge, but we’re really excited by the players we’ve been able to call on.With another T20 World Cup later this year and the ODI World Cup next year it’s a good time to be offering opportunities to a wider group of players,” Stead said.

Meanwhile, the ODI series will be Ross Taylor’s farewell, as he is set to retire from international cricket after its conclusion. Taylor is a part of only the ODI squad, along with Henry Nicholls and Kyle Jamieson.

The tour begins with the one-off T20I in Napier on March 25, with the three-match ODI series – which will be a part of the ODI Super League – starting in Mount Maunganui on March 29. Tom Latham will lead both sides in the absence of regular captain Kane Williamson.

ODI squad: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Doug Bracewell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Henry Nicholls, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, Will Young

T20I squad: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Doug Bracewell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ben Sears, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Will Young

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