Northern Knights coach James Pamment has fired a shot at the management of the Black Caps for robbing him of two key players for tomorrow night's domestic Twenty20 preliminary final against Canterbury.
Pamment was told he would have hard-hitting allrounder Corey Anderson and pivotal death bowler Tim Southee in his side for the match at Hamilton's Seddon Park, but the Black Caps brains trust have flip-flopped on their original decision.
Instead, that duo, who are a key part in all three formats for the Black Caps, have been ordered to rest ahead of the opening one-day international against India on Sunday, following their involvement in the Twenty20 series against the West Indies, which wrapped up last night in Wellington.
"Black Caps management said they were all available to play but that's since been rescinded, which is obviously really disappointing," Pamment said. "They [management] probably would have been better off to say that they weren't available rather than telling us that they were and now they're not. So we're really disappointed that Tim and Corey won't be with us on Friday night."
Pamment said the duo had expressed the desire to help ND as much as they could when he spoke with them on Sunday.
"And they've obviously spoken to Black Caps management who've then decided, 'well actually, we don't think you should be available'."
"Obviously Saturday [the final against Otago] would have been a challenge for them, but personally, I couldn't see any issue with them playing on Friday and then heading down to Napier on Saturday morning. But I guess the disappointing thing is that they were made available, then all of a sudden to be made now not available, that obviously says to me that they didn't think through their initial communication around who would be available and who wouldn't be available.
"At least they pulled them out on Monday and they didn't drag it on throughout the week, so it's given us some time to do some planning."
In Canterbury's 12 there are eight players who have played for the Black Caps, but fortunately for the Wizards, none of them are in the current setup.
Top qualifiers Otago - who yesterday signed West Indies paceman Jason Holder for the final - are also affected, as they'll be without Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Jesse Ryder and James Neesham for the decider.
"This is the showcase weekend for New Zealand domestic cricket," Pamment said. "It would have been great to have all Black Caps available, never mind ND Black Caps. I think New Zealand Cricket have really missed a trick. Both games are on Sky, but yet hardly any Black Caps are going to be there playing. So that's going to be something to think about for the future."
ND will also be without left-arm quick Trent Boult - who's having a thigh injury managed by NZC - as they look to ease his workload ahead of the test series.
They will, however, have the services of off-spinning allrounder Kane Williamson for tomorrow, before he heads to Napier; the rationale being that he wasn't involved in the international Twenty20 series.
To give their pace bowling stocks a boost, ND have again called upon the Sydney Thunder's Chris Tremain, who played one game for them earlier in the season, and will be available for both nights.
"Chris was available and really keen to play in the finals, so we took the opportunity to bring him back," Pamment said of the 22-year-old. "He did really well for us when we played against CD down in Nelson. He's a great young man, good character. He comes with great knowledge, great experience, and he's got good confidence."
Teams are allowed two imports in their playing XI and Pamment said if ND make the final, they would consider a second overseas player.
The Knights squad link up in Hamilton today, having trained in their cluster groups in Hamilton, Tauranga and Auckland yesterday, following two days off after their last round game against Canterbury in Christchurch on Sunday.
"The schedule that we've had recently, it was very important that the boys got some rest," said Pamment, who will today nut out a plan with his players to get the better of a Canterbury side that has beaten them in both their meetings in this year's competition.
"Different sections of our team - batsmen, bowlers - have been challenged to come up with ways of playing against them better," he said. "They've used the same template twice against us and been good enough to beat us. So we will come up with something different.
"We won't be changing too much. But what do they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting a different result.
"We need to acknowledge that they do certain aspects of their game really well, and we need to challenge that."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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