“There’s no lack of familiarity with the group” – James Neesham
By SMCS - Sep 12, 2023 10:15 pm
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New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham has added that they are even more motivated to give it their all in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India because of the heartbreak that they suffered four years ago in England. Neesham was a part of the New Zealand team that went all the way to the final of the last World Cup but only lost out to England on a boundary count as well. While anyone could have rightly felt disheartened by the result, Neesham said that it has only helped the players to push one more time for the crown as well.

James Neesham
James Neesham

James Neesham told the reporters after the World Cup 2023 squad announcement (via BBC): “I think it’s motivated all of us. Trent (Boult) has talked about it as well, around a few of the guys back then talking about giving it one more crack in four years’ time. It’s come around pretty quickly, really, with all the events since 2019 in the world. We’ve got that generation from 30 to 35 years old. We’ve all played a huge amount over the last 10-12 years and there’s certainly huge motivation from the guys to give it one last, good crack.”

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However, the likes of James Neesham and pace bowler Trent Boult had opted out of the New Zealand central contracts as they wanted to focus more on franchise cricket also. While they are still part of the World Cup squad, Neesham doesn’t feel it won’t make any difference to the unity in the New Zealand group as well. Moreover, New Zealand will be happy to see the return of their talisman Kane Williamson for the World Cup as well.

New Zealand
New Zealand T20 team

“No one gets judged on those kinds of decisions. Myself and Trent have talked a lot about it over the last year or so around trying to stay fit and stay in the picture. There’s no lack of familiarity with the group. As Trent said a couple of days ago in England, you slide back into the group as if nothing’s changed,” James Neesham concluded.

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New Zealand’s World Cup 2023 squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.