Williamson fit to lead BLACKCAPS in Bay Oval homecoming
Published on 14 Nov 2019
Kane Williamson has recovered from a right-hip injury and will return to international cricket as part of a 15-man squad named to face England and Australia over the coming months.
Larsen said a two-week period of rest and rehabilitation had Williamson primed to return for what will be a historic inaugural Test for his home ground of Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
"Kane's made good progress over the past fortnight and we're delighted to welcome back a player of his class and experience.
"It's obviously going to be a very special Test for him and Trent Boult being such passionate locals - we know there's already a lot of excitement in that part of the Bay of Plenty."
Joining Williamson in the squad will be fellow Northern Districts players Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and BJ Watling
Another selection of note is Auckland Aces fast bowler Lockie Ferguson earning his maiden call-up to the BLACKCAPS Test team.
His inclusion caps an impressive rise for the 28-year-old speedster who has become a mainstay in the BLACKCAPS white-ball sides and finished as the second leading wicket-taker at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup in England.
However, it's with the red-ball that Ferguson has arguably produced his best from domestically, having taken 153 wickets from 42 First-Class matches at an average of 24.30.
Selector Gavin Larsen said Ferguson fully deserved his selection.
"There's no doubt Lockie has been knocking on the door for a while now and we're delighted to finally bring him into the Test fold," Larsen said.
"It's well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skill set and has proved his durability.
"He showed good form against England in the recent T20 series and backed that up with a solid outing for the Auckland Aces in the Plunket Shield, where he claimed four for 23 against the Wellington Firebirds.
"Our pace bowling stocks are strong at the moment and we feel Lockie will add another dimension to the picture, and will create some great competition."
There are two changes from the recent Test squad who toured Sri Lanka with Ferguson and leg-spinner Todd Astle included in place of spinners Will Somerville and Ajaz Patel.
Larsen said the selections represented a horses for courses approach.
"There were certainly some tough decisions in terms of the spin group with Will and Ajaz performing admirably during their tours of the sub-continent.
"We've gone with the versatility of Mitchell and Todd who have experience in the conditions we will face over the next few months and will bolster our lower order batting."
BLACKCAPS Test Squad
Kane Williamson (c) (Northern Districts)
Todd Astle (Canterbury)
Tom Blundell (Wellington Firebirds)
Trent Boult (Northern Districts)
Colin de Grandhomme (Northern Districts)
Lockie Ferguson (Auckland Aces)
Matt Henry (Canterbury)
Tom Latham (Canterbury)
Henry Nicholls (Canterbury)
Jeet Raval (Auckland Aces)
Mitchell Santner (Northern Districts)
Tim Southee (Northern Districts)
Ross Taylor (Central Stags)
Neil Wagner (Northern Districts)
BJ Watling (Northern Districts)