Cricket-Latham returns to T20s to captain NZ against Sri Lanka, Pakistan

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC World Test Championship Final - India v New Zealand - Rose Bowl, Southampton, Britain - June 20, 2021 New Zealand's Tom Latham Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Tom Latham will captain an inexperienced New Zealand team in next month's home Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka and the five-match series in Pakistan that follows, returning to the shortest format for the first time in nearly two years.With Kane Williamson and Tim Southee playing in the Indian Premier League and unavailable, the wicketkeeper-batsman will return to the leadership role he held in Bangladesh in 2021.

"We saw against India earlier this season the power and range of shots that Tom possess. His adaptability also means he can feature in a range of batting positions," coach Mike Stead.

"He led an inexperienced T20 squad to Bangladesh in 2021 and we were really impressed with his leadership of that group during a COVID bubble tour."

Former South Africa under-19 skipper and top order batsman Chad Bowes and seamer Henry Shipley, who made his one-day international debut in January, are in line to win their first T20 caps after being included in the squad for both series.

New Zealand play Sri Lanka in Auckland, Dunedin and Queenstown in the first week of April before three T20s against Pakistan in Lahore and another two in Rawalpindi from April 14-24.

Stead will skip the Pakistan T20s, leaving Shane Jurgensen to lead the team, but return to the helm for the subsequent five one-day matches against the hosts.

Squad: Tom Latham (captain), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Seifert (not Pakistan series), Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Will Young.

Pakistan series only: Dane Cleaver, Cole McConchie, Blair Tickner.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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