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Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Zealand preliminary World Cup squad announced

WELLINGTON: New Zealand included seven uncapped players Wednesday in a 30-man squad for next year's World Cup, as the Black Caps struggle to end a run of 11 straight defeats in one-day internationals.

The injection of fresh blood comes after former Test captain John Wright was appointed head coach this week in a bid to turn around the team's dismal recent form, which included series whitewashes against Bangladesh and India.

Chief selector Mark Greatbatch said the squad, which will be cut to 15 in January, had the potential to be competitive at the World Cup, which begins on February 19 and takes place in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

"A number of uncapped guys who have excelled domestically made the squad. We believe it represents the best one-day cricketers we have in New Zealand," said Greatbatch, who was dumped as coach to make way for Wright.

"There is genuine competition for places as we look to select final 15 for the World Cup and that's exciting."

The new faces in the squad are Brent Arnel, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Adam Milne, Rob Nicol, Luke Woodcock and Reece Young.

Wicketkeeper Young was also named Wednesday in a 13-man Test squad for the two-Test home series against Pakistan in January, displacing Gareth Hopkins.

New Zealand's recent one-day form has been hard to take for a nation used to punching above its weight in the 50-over game -- reaching the World Cup semi-finals five times, most recently in 2007.

New Zealand's 30-man squad for the World Cup beginning February 19:

Brent Arnel
Hamish Bennett
Doug Bracewell
Dean Brownlie
Ian Butler
Grant Elliott
Daniel Flynn
Martin Guptill
Jamie How
James Franklin
Kyle Mills
Adam Milne
Brendon McCullum
Nathan McCullum
Peter McGlashan
Andy McKay
Rob Nicol
Jacob Oram
Jeetan Patel
Jesse Ryder
Tim Southee
Shanan Stewart
Scott Styris
Ross Taylor
Daryl Tuffey
Daniel Vettori
Bradley-John Watling
Kane Williamson
Luke Woodcock
Reece Young.

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