14 February 2008

New Zealand depth to be tested

Stephen Fleming has just announced his retirement at the conclusion of the home series against England. He is the latest in a long list of senior NZ players to have called it a day in the last couple of years. Chris Cairns, Nathan Astle and Craig MacMillan have all walked away recently while Scott Styris has retired from tests to concentrate on ODIs and Shane Bond appears unlikely to play in the near future due to his involvement in the ICL.

The loss of so many of their more experienced players is sure to test the depth of the Kiwi national side. They are a team who have traditionally struggled with depth of talent at international level. Even in their golden era in the mid-eighties their success was largely based on two star players in Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe. This makes their performances against England in the first two ODIs all the more remarkable.

I'm sure the Kiwi management will be praying the younger members of the side will develop quickly, but I fear a fairly major kiwi slump over the next few years at least while they re-build.

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