Ross Taylor to play 2 matches for New Zealand XI against Netherlands, BJ Watling joins coaching staff

Written by Shreyas Vyas

Veteran batter Ross Taylor will play for the New Zealand XI against the Netherlands in Napier next week to get some game-time before he bids farewell to international cricket in his final ODI series later this month.

Ruled out of a first-class game for the Central Stags as a close contact of a Covid-19 case, the 38-year-old will instead play white-ball matches for a developing New Zealand XI at McLean Park in Napier from next week.

Paul Wiseman will lead the coaching staff and will be supported by Auckland pace bowling coach Azhar Abbas and former BLACKCAPS wicket-keeper BJ Watling.

“It’d be nice to have got in there and played for the Staggies,” he said in a video call from home.

“But to play some white-ball cricket with higher intensity, I think it’s ideal preparation.

“It’s a great opportunity to see the Netherlands side up close and obviously there’s a few Kiwi connections to them as well.”

New Zealand’s most prolific batsman finished his 112-match Test career in January on a high, capturing Bangladesh’s final wicket with his part-time spin to seal a series-leveling victory.

The ODI series against the Netherlands starts March 29 in Mount Maunganui, with the final two matches at Taylor’s home ground of Seddon Park in Hamilton, where family and friends will gather.

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Shreyas Vyas