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‘There’s a lot of experience in the group’ – Gary Stead unfazed by absence of official warm-up matches leading up to T20 WC 2024

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New Zealand had the option of ICC-provided warm-up matches, but with the logistical complexities of assembling the squad in the Caribbean in staggered batches and the uncertain location of these fixtures, NZC decided against it. Instead, they chose to focus on extra training sessions to prepare for their first group match against Afghanistan on June 7. 

With a significant number of New Zealanders currently engaged in the IPL and others having recently completed the Pakistan T20Is, head coach, Gary Stead, acknowledged the challenges of synchronizing their arrivals in the West Indies. 

“West Indies is a tough place to get to for a start, so it’s not easy to get everyone to Trinidad and Tobago at the same time. For us, we don’t have warm-up games. There’s a number of guys who have been in the IPL for the last two months and we’ve also recently come off the tour to Pakistan,” stated Stead as per ESPNcricinfo.

Stead highlighted the importance of leveraging the experience gained by several New Zealand players in the Caribbean Premier League in recent seasons, indicating that they would rely on them to excel in the T20 World Cup. Furthermore, he stressed the need for training sessions that would enable players to attain the desired level of readiness and competitiveness for the prestigious event. 

Also Read: New Zealand reveal jersey for T20 World Cup 2024

“There’s a lot of experience in the group who have played in the CPL before, so we’ll be leaning on those guys and making sure the trainings we get prior to the first game puts us in a position of where we want to be,” remarked Stead.

Noting that Rachin Ravindra and Matt Henry are the only newcomers to the T20 World Cup within the squad, Stead underscored the importance of the team’s seasoned players, whose experience he believes will play a crucial role in their performance during the tournament.

“We’ve only got two players who haven’t been to a T20 World Cup that are in this squad. That shows our group is experienced and they can lean back on those past experiences,” said the 52-year-old.

Also Read: New Zealand Squad for T20 World Cup 2024: Complete Player List and Squad Details

Looking forward to the unknown of some of these new teams: Stead

New Zealand’s placement in Group C has drawn attention as one of the tougher groups, hosting former two-time champions West Indies, spin-specialists Afghanistan, and associate nations Papua New Guinea and Uganda, a scenario that coach Stead finds intriguing for the varied challenges it presents, particularly from the less-familiar teams.

“Certainly looking forward to the unknown of some of these new teams as well, the difference they might bring that we have to be really complete with our planning,” concluded Stead.

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