New Zealand pull McCullum, Taylor out of Sri Lanka cricket tour

WELLINGTON, October 25, 2013 (AFP) – Senior New Zealand cricketers Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor will sit out next month’s tour of Sri Lanka so they can prepare for the upcoming home Test series against the West Indies, chief selector Bruce Edgar said Saturday. The pair will return home after the current tour of Bangladesh with 23-year-old Kane Williamson replacing McCullum as captain in Sri Lanka where New Zealand will play three ODIs and two Twenty20s.

“Ross and Brendon need red ball preparation to be at their best for the summer,” Edgar said.

“Both players are vital to our success and fine tuning their red ball skills before the West Indies series starting in early December is paramount.”

As Taylor and McCullum play all three formats of the game, Edgar said it was important to manage their playing loads as New Zealand face 37 home days of cricket against the West Indies and then India.

McCullum and Taylor are expected to play domestic cricket in New Zealand before the first Test against the West Indies starting in Dunedin on December 3.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi and pace bowler Ian Butler will join the New Zealand side in Sr Lanka.

New Zealand squad for Sri Lanka: Kane Williamson (captain), Corey Anderson, Ian Butler, A