Vettori withdraws from Champions League side

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 16:25 25/08/2014
Daniel Vettori
KELLY HODEL/Fairfax NZ
BIG LOSS: Daniel Vettori has had to withdraw from the Northern Knights squad for the upcoming Champions League T20 tournament.

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The Northern Knights will be without hugely influential allrounder Daniel Vettori for their Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India next month.

Vettori has withdrawn from the Knights squad due to family health matters.

The Northern Districts side that won the New Zealand domestic T20 competition last season to qualify for the lucrative tournament are hoping they will be able to name a replacement for Vettori in their 15-man squad announced recently.

Vettori said he was hugely disappointed not to be able to play for the Knights in their three qualifying pool matches against the Lahore Lions, Sri Lanka's Southern Express and the Mumbai Indians.

''I really love playing for ND and to do so on a world stage would have been a real highlight,'' Vettori said in a statement.

Northern Districts chief executive Peter Roach said the association was fully supportive of Vettori's decision.

''Clearly we're very disappointed that we've lost a world-class player for this world event, but we're very supportive of the position he's taken.

''He's certainly indicated a willingness to keep playing cricket and keep playing for us, which is great. We look forward to having him whenever he's available, as we did last year and he was obviously an integral part of us making the Champions League with his performances last year,'' Roach said.

Roach said ND was now going through the process of seeking a replacement player through the technical committee of the Champions League Twenty20 and were expecting to get a decision by the end of the week.

''There's no guarantee, but we think Dan's exceptional circumstances should be viewed favourably.''

It's likely a replacement would have to come from an extended squad already supplied to tournament organisers.

Contenders include Australian pace bowler Chris Tremain, seamer Anurag Verma, a like-for-like swap in left-arm spinner and batsman Mitchell Santner and batsman Jono Hickey.

The NZ-based members of the Knights side - including Black Caps seam and swing bowling stars Tim Southee and Trent Boult - leave on Saturday to head to a pre-tournament camp in Bangalore they will share with Mumbai that Vettori has played a key hand in setting up.

Northern's New Zealand A players currently starring on the team's tour of the UK - Ish Sodhi, Anton Devcich, BJ Watling, Scott Kuggeleijn and Daryl Mitchell - will arrive on September 4 while Kane Williamson will join the squad following his limited-overs commitments in English county cricket with Yorkshire.

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The top two teams from the four-team round-robin qualifier will advance to the main draw, which is divided into two pools of five teams each.

Northern Knights: Ish Sodhi, Jono Boult, Brad Wilson, Kane Williamson, Daniel Flynn, BJ Watling, Graeme Aldridge, Anton Devcich, Tim Southee, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Daniel Harris, Scott Styris, Trent Boult plus one to be added.

- Stuff

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