Veteran batter Ross Taylor will play for the New Zealand XI against the Netherlands in Napier next week to get some playing time before bowing out of international cricket in his final ODI series later this month.
The 38-year-old, who was ruled out of a top-flight game for the Central Stags as a close contact of a Covid-19 case, will instead play white-ball games for a developing New Zealand side from next week at McLean Park in Napier.
Paul Wiseman will lead the coaching staff and will be joined by Auckland Pace Bowling coach Azhar Abbas and former BLACKCAPS wicket keeper BJ Watling.
“It would have been nice to have gone in there and played for the Staggies,” he said in a video call from home.
“But playing some higher intensity white ball cricket I think is the ideal preparation.
“It’s a great opportunity to see the Dutch team up close and obviously there are some Kiwi connections with them too.”
New Zealand’s most prolific batsman ended his 112-game Test career on a high in January when his part-time spin took Bangladesh’s last wicket and sealed a run.
The ODI series against the Netherlands begins on March 29 at Mount Maunganui, with the final two games at Taylor’s home ground of Seddon Park in Hamilton, where family and friends will gather.
“I’m not expecting to have a bowl,” joked the 233 ODIs veteran.
“I suppose it’s emotional when you’ve been doing something for so long… Just playing on the home court in front of family and friends is going to have its emotional bonds.
“But I’m looking forward to the next chapter and to playing my final series. It’s been a while since we’ve played one.”
Taylor will be the ‘grey beard’ of a New Zealand side captained by Wellington batsman Michael Bracewell, nephew of former Test players John and Brendon.
Taylor said Bracewell is close to making an international debut after a stellar season domestically and with spots on New Zealand’s white ball roster.
“This is an opportunity for him to put his name up there and I’m sure if it’s not this summer, which wouldn’t surprise me, in the next year or so I’m sure he’ll get a run .”