AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand won the toss and fielded Friday in the series-opening Twenty20 international against the West Indies.
With no community cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, fans filled the Eden Park stadium as international cricket resumed in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa on the same day.
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said it “feels strange” to play in front of a crowd again.
“Everyone has done a fantastic job to get us to play in front of people again," he said.
The match is New Zealand’s first at home since March and the West Indies’ first since their tour to England in July in a season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Both teams took a knee before the start of play in a gesture of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The West Indies are also playing with the Black Lives Matter symbol on their uniforms as they did during their series against England in July.
New Zealand selected South Africa-born batsman Devon Conway to make his international debut. Conway, who played for Gauteng before moving to New Zealand in 2017, will bat at No. 4 in the absence of captain Kane Williamson, who is being rested for the series.
Kyle Jamieson, who played his first test last summer, will make his T20 debut in place of seamer Trent Boult, who is also resting after returning from the Indian Premier League.
West Indies captain Kieron Powell has just emerged from managed isolation to play in the match after also taking part in the IPL.
New Zealand: Tim Seifert, Martin Guptill, Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway, Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (captain), Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Hamish Bennett.
West Indies: Andre Fletcher, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kesrick Williams.
Umpires: Chris Brown and Wayne Knights, New Zealand. TV umpire: Shaun Haig, New Zealand.
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand).
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