Blundell earns surprise call as New Zealand name World Cup squad

Kane Williamson New Zealand captain PA

Wicketkeeper Tom Blundell was a surprise inclusion as New Zealand named their 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup.

The 28-year-old will act as back-up to Tom Latham behind the stumps despite having no one-day international experience.

The Wellington-born star has made two Test appearances for the Kiwis and scored an unbeaten century in his first innings against West Indies at his home ground in December 2017.

He has also played in three Twenty20 internationals but will likely carry the drinks in England and Wales this summer.

Kane Williamson skippers the side and will be hoping to go one better after New Zealand fell tamely to Australia in the final four years ago.

Ross Taylor, 35, will play in his fourth World Cup, with the Kiwis kicking off their campaign against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on June 1.

In the spin-bowling department, Ish Sodhi has been given the nod ahead of Todd Astle.

The deadline for teams to name their 15-man squads isn’t until April 25, but the Blackcaps have decided to go early.

New Zealand World Cup squad: Kane Williamson, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.