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T20 World Cup 2024: New Zealand fans look to mega event with hope, trepidation

Updated on: 21 May,2024 07:20 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

New Zealand reached the final of the 2021 T20 World Cup, losing to Australia in the United Arab Emirates, and the semifinals of the 2016 and 2022 tournaments. The Black Caps reached the final of the 50-overs Cricket World Cup in 2015 and 2019 and the semifinals in 2007, 2011 and 2023

T20 World Cup 2024: New Zealand fans look to mega event with hope, trepidation

New Zealand cricket team (Pic: File Pic)

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New Zealand fans are preparing themselves for an emotional journey when they begin the T20 World Cup 2024 campaign in June. They are looking forward to the tournament with a mixture of hope and fatalism.


That mixed outlook, leaning towards pessimism, is based on New Zealand's experience of cricket's limited-overs World Cups, many of which have taken fans on an emotional roller-coaster before ending in disappointment.


New Zealand reached the final of the 2021 T20 World Cup, losing to Australia in the United Arab Emirates, and the semifinals of the 2016 and 2022 tournaments. The Black Caps reached the final of the 50-overs Cricket World Cup in 2015 and 2019 and the semifinals in 2007, 2011 and 2023.


So far, NZ have reached the semifinals of the ICC World Cup seven times, but the only win in a major limited-overs tournament came at the ICC Knockout Trophy in Kenya in 2000.

Narrow misses over the years have sowed the seeds of pessimism among New Zealand fans. But New Zealand's competitiveness in world tournaments, including its win in the inaugural World Test Championship, also has nourished hope.

New Zealand has had the ability to assemble rounded squads with depth in all disciplines which is the prerequisite for tournament success.

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When you go to World Cups, you want experience and you want people who know what it's like, Black Caps head coach Gary Stead said.

New Zealand will be led by Kane Williamson in his sixth World Cup and fourth as a captain. Tim Southee will play in his seventh T20 World Cup followed by Trent Boult in his fifth.

With the Kiwis' batting lineup being deep and experienced, they also have depth in their spin and fast bowling attacks.

We've got bowlers who provide us with a really varied lineup as well left-armers, right-armers, spinners who go both ways, Stead said. That balance part is important.

If we play well and play with smarts then hopefully it will be a tournament we can win. The one notable omission in the New Zealand squad is that of a specialist wicketkeeper. Stead has chosen not to take wicketkeeper and opening bat Tim Seifert but to delegate the keeping duties to Devon Conway and Finn Allen and, at a pinch, Rachin Ravindra or Glenn Phillips.

In the T20 World Cup 2024, the concern for NZ will be Conway going into the tournament with a thumb injury and Allen with a back injury. Stead is confident both will be fit in time.

Other factors of importance in a world tournament are the conditions and schedule. New Zealand is well placed when it comes to the first, 13 of its squad played in its last tour to the West Indies and six played in the Caribbean Premier League.

In the T20 World Cup 2024, New Zealand will play their first match against Afghanistan in Guyana and then will face West Indies. Later, will lock horns with Uganda and Papa New Guinea before the Super 8. Afghanistan in Guyana on a wicket that traditionally turns will possibly be a match that will be crucial, Stead said.

The Afghanistan match begins the journey for Kiwis watching at home mostly in the morning or early afternoon local time. The first step, to reach the Super 8, seems a relatively easy one. But it has been taking the final that has been so difficult in the past.

(With AP Inputs)

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