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    Uncapped Astle selected for NZ's tour of SL

    Wellington: Uncapped Todd Astle has been included in New Zealand's squad for its cricket tour to Sri Lanka.

    Astle, from Canterbury province, averages 22 with the bat in New Zealand's domestic first-class competition and has taken 127 wickets at 34.79 with his leg breaks.

    The 26-year-old allrounder is the only new cap included in the New Zealand squads which will play one Twenty20 international, five one-dayers and two tests in Sri Lanka between October 30 and November 29.

    Selection manager Kim Littlejohn said Astle "has the ability to contribute in all three facets of the game and deserves his opportunity."

    The ODI and T20 squad includes 12 players who took part in the recent T20 World Cup. Former captain Daniel Vettori was not considered for the tour because of an Achilles tendon injury.

    Opening batsman Rob Nicol has been recalled to the Test squad while left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult and allrounders Tom Latham and Andrew Ellis rejoin the T20 and one-day squad.

    "It has been a demanding period for the Blackcaps, especially for the players who compete in all three forms," Littlejohn said. "As part of the on-going management of player workload we have decided to rest Martin Guptill for the T20 and ODI matches so he can refresh for the upcoming international commitments.

    "Doug Bracewell will miss the short-form matches so he can spend some time working on a few minor technical issues with his action. The best approach is to spend time getting things right in domestic four-day cricket ahead of the Test series."


    ODI and T20: Ross Taylor (captain), Trent Boult, Andrew Ellis, James Franklin, Roneel Hira, Rob Nicol, Tom Latham, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, B.J. Watling, Kane Williamson.

    Tests: Ross Taylor (captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Rob Nicol, Jeetan Patel, Tim Southee, Kruger van Wyk, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson.

    Itinerary: Oct. 30, T20 at Pallekele; Nov. 1, first ODI, Pallekele; Nov. 4, second ODI, Colombo; Nov. 6, third ODI, Colombo; Nov. 10, fourth ODI, Hambantota; Nov. 12, fifth ODI, Hambantota; Nov. 17-21, first Test, Galle; Nov. 25-29, second Test, Colombo.