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Friday, April 16, 1999 Published at 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK

New Zealand: Player profiles

Stephen Fleming (captain)

Age: 26
Team: Canterbury
Style: Left hand bat

[ image: Stephen Fleming ]

At times an elegant and classical left-handed batsman, Fleming can also be turgid and laconic at the crease. Captain of the Kiwi side at the age of 24, he is a vital member of one of the better middle orders in the tournament.

He is particularly strong driving through the off side, but susceptible to being bogged down by top quality spin bowling.

Has three one-day international centuries to his name but was recently sidelined for an 11-week period due to a groin injury.

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Geoff Allot

Age: 27
Team: Canterbury
Style: Righ hand bat; Left arm fast-medium

New Zealand's most successful bowler in the recent one-day series against South Africa. Allot took 14 wickets with his brisk left-arm seamers; no other player took more than four.

Achieved a unique, albeit dubious treble against South Africa in the Test series with:

a) the longest time on 0 in Test history (101 minutes);

b) the longest time without scoring a run;

c) the longest-lasting duck in a first-class game.

In the seven one-day matches that followed scored a grand total of 0 runs (although, in fairness, he did only bat twice)

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Nathan Astle

Age: 27
Teams: Canterbury, Nottinghamshire
Style: Right hand bat; Right arm medium

[ image: <font size=4><B> ]

New Zealand's most likely match-winner with the bat. When the mood takes him, Astle is a flamboyant batsman with a particularly strong cover drive.

Most famous innings was his century against England where, with the best part of three sessions to take the last wicket to win the match, Astle held out with Danny Morrison to force a draw.

Has scored three other Test centuries - and six in one-day internationals - but over-exuberance has meant a disappointing Test average in the mid-thirties.

Played for Nottinghamshire in the county championship, although he was involved in a pre-season "transfer" from Lancashire League side Accrington in order to do so.

A regular bowler in the one-day games, with over 50 wickets to his name.

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Carl Bulfin

Age: 25
Teams: Wellington, Central Districts
Style: Right hand bat; Right arm fast-medium

Owes his selection ahead of other bowlers to an ability to bowl genuinely fast. In theory it gives New Zealand an extra attacking option; in practice it must be considered a risk.

In one-day internationals prior to selection Bulfin had gone wicketless and disappeared around the ground at a rate of 7.09 runs per over.

Rewarded for showing continued hostility at domestic level. Sure not to want for entertainment value.

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Chris Cairns

Age: 28
Teams: Canterbury, Nottinghamshire, Northern Districts
Style: Right hand bat; Right arm fast-medium

[ image: Chris Cairns ]

Potentially the complete allrounder. Cairns can surprise even the most accomplished batsmen with extra pace and has taken more than a few attacks apart with the bat.

Prone to injury, his bowling has fallen away - for a time unable to bowl, he held his place in the side solely as a batsman.

Has two one-day international centuries to his name, the second a particularly brutal affair coming off 75 balls against India (joint 12th fastest in history) with seven sixes (a New Zealand record). One of his two Test hundreds, against Zimbabwe, contained nine sixes.

Son of allrounder Lance Cairns, he first played for New Zealand at 19. Despite injuries, has still found time to chalk up 100 one-day international appearances.

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Simon Doull

Age: 29
Team: Northern Districts
Style: Right hand bat; Right arm medium-fast

[ image: Simon Doull ]

A good-natured pace bowler who once found it necessary to grow a "goatie" beard and shave his head to appear more menacing to batsmen who refused to fear him.

Can swing the ball both ways at a decent pace but is consequently prone to bowling half-volleys. Occasionally swings it too much for his own good and lacks accuracy. Has, therefore, been more successful in Test matches.

A bit of a slogger with the bat and a safe fielder in the deep.

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Matthew Hart

Age: 27
Team: Northern Districts
Style: Left hand bat; Left arm orthodox

[ image: Matthew Hart ]

A surprise name in the squad having not played for New Zealand since 1996 but the selectors felt it necessary to have the option of choosing from two spinners. Unlikely to play in tandem with left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori.

With Vettori well established, could spend a lot of the time carting around the drinks trolley and playing messenger from the dressing-room.

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Chris Harris

Age: 29
Team: Canterbury
Style: Left hand bat; Right arm medium

[ image: Chris Harris ]

New Zealand's premier one-day cricketer; one of the most effective in the world.

The archetypal "bits-and-pieces" player: bowls a mixture of seamers, offies and leggies - all at medium pace; and able to win matches off his own bat.

Once deemed too predictable and "hittable" as an inswing bowler, went away and worked out a new method. In two previous World Cups he has taken 21 wickets at 22.71 with a strike-rate of a wicket every 30 balls.

Scored a brilliant 130 in a losing cause against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 1996 tournament and, despite suffering from cramps and dehydration, bowled ten miserly overs.

Deemed a one-day specialist, though makes the odd appearance for the Test side.

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Matt Horne

Age: 29
Teams: Otago, Auckland
Style: Right hand bat; Right arm medium

[ image: Matt Horne ]

Established a reputation as a gutsy player when he came close to scoring a half-century on his Test debut against England with a broken hand. Has since established himself in the side with two Test centuries.

A regular member of the one-day side against South Africa, though with moderate success, averaging a mere 16.5 in six innings - only fractionally below his career average.

Stylish in attack, drives powerfully off both pace and spin.

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Gavin Larsen

Age: 36
Team: Wellington
Style: Right hand bat; Right arm medium

[ image: Gavin Larsen ]

Another so-called one-day specialist, Larsen has a well-earned reputation as a miserly seam bowler. Should be ideally suited to early season English conditions.

Was first selected as a middle-order batsman who was asked to bowl his quota of overs.

Developed into a one-day regular and a bowler often asked to tie up batsmen who had been allowed to score too freely in the first 15 overs. Has taken over 100 one-day international wickets at an economy rate of well under three runs per over - though he was off colour recently against South Africa. Does a similar job to England's Mark Ealham.

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Craig McMillan

Age: 22
Team: Canterbury
Style: Right hand bat; Right arm medium

Has a reputation to maintai
[ image: Craig McMillan ]

n after scoring two Test centuries and six fifties in his first ten matches, not to mention picking up a few wickets into the bargain.

Had the wind taken out of his sails somewhat in South Africa where he played in only one Test and three one-day internationals with little success.

Narrowly escaped punishment from the ICC for showing dissent to an umpire after querying a dismissal against Zimbabwe recently. One for the future.

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Dion Nash

Age: 27
Teams: Middlesex, Otago, Northern Districts
Style: Right hand bat; Right arm medium-fast

[ image: Dion Nash ]

An all-rounder who made an instant impression on his Test mach debut against England at Lord's in 1994 with figures of 11-169 and a half-century in his only innings.

Earned a contract with Middlesex the following but was by then suffering from an injury and had lost both form and confidence.

He has not yet fulfilled his early promise, suffering from persistent back injuries which have restricted him to only 23 Test appearances since his debut.

Played a full part in the South Africa series but he picked up only two wickets in 75 overs.

Captained the side in Fleming's absence and should be given more responsibility with the bat.

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Adam Parore (wicketkeeper)

Age: 28
Teams: Auckland
Style: Right hand bat; Wicketkeeper
[ image: Adam Parore ]

Seen as the "naughty boy" of Kiwi cricket, Parore has rarely been given a stable role in the side. Sometimes a top-order batsman, sometimes a lower-order wicketkeeper, sometimes both.

A natural wicketkeeper, there is nothing to stop Parore batting at No.3. He has been as low as seven in Test matches despite having scored both Test and one-day international centuries.

Has had a chequered disciplinary record and was once dropped from his provincial side while retaining his place in the Test side. For most of the season the only batting he did was in the internationals.

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Roger Twose

Age: 31
Teams: Wellington, Warwickshire, Central Districts
Style: Left arm bat; Right arm medium

[ image: Roger Twose ]

Once an Englishman playing for Warwickshire, now a Kiwi playing for Central Districts.

Having emigrated to New Zealand on the promise of an international future - he qualified through marriage - this will be his second World Cup.

A good one-day cricketer, he was a key contributor to Warwickshire's triple-winning season in 1994.

When Brian Lara arrived at Edgbaston as the new overseas player that year - only weeks after scoring his Test record 375 not out against England and shortly before scoring his 501 not out against Durham - Twose greeted him with a note on his locker: "Welcome to the second best left-hander in world cricket."

Born in Torquay, Devon, Twose was never likely to play for England. More often than not has looked out of his depth playing for New Zealand. His one-day and Test match averages are unimpressive, though he has hit nineties in both.

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Daniel Vettori

Age: 20
Team: Northern Districts
Style: Left arm orthodox

[ image: Daniel Vettori ]

Seems to have been around for an eternity but is still only 20.

With his unflappable temperament, Vettori made an immediate impression when he made his debut against England two winters ago as the youngest Kiwi to play Test cricket.

Has been a feature of the New Zealand side ever since and his left-arm spin, understandably defensive then, has become notably more varied.

Two five-wicket hauls in Test matches - and a match-winning nine wickets against Sri Lanka - have been the result.

Vettori has something to offer with the bat. He is difficult to dismiss and already has two Test half-centuries to his name.

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