Wheeler back in Black Caps

Central Districts all-rounder Ben Wheeler has earned a recall to the New Zealand cricket team after an absence of almost a year.

A left-arm seamer capable of swinging the ball and a handy middle-lower order batsman, Wheeler was one of 13 named on Wednesday in what has been called an “interchangeable” squad for the looming three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

Fellow Stags new-ball bowler Seth Rance also returns to the Black Caps set-up after featuring in two of the three recent T20s against the West Indies, the 30-year-old joining the squad early in time for the fifth and final ODI against Pakistan in Wellington on Friday.

The other notable feature of the group is several players being rested across the series.

Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson will not play in the first match, with Boult also missing the final ODI.

Fellow seamer Tim Southee will not feature in game two and senior batsman Ross Taylor is playing game one only.

Wheeler played four T20s for the Black Caps last summer, the last against South Africa in Auckland in February, taking five wickets at a strike-rate of 17.

The 26-year-old from Blenheim, who has played six one-day internationals for New Zealand, has an overall T20 record of 47 wickets from 35 games.

This season he has seven wickets at a strike rate of 27 and 128 runs at a strike-rate of 152, including 10 sixes, as part of a Central Districts side which faces Auckland at Eden Park Outer Oval on Wednesday for a place in the domestic T20 final.

National selector Gavin Larsen said it was exciting to have Wheeler back in the mix, adding there were a number of others who had pushed their case.

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