Cricket: Veteran Butler on standby

Ian Butler of the Black Caps. Photo / Getty Images
Ian Butler of the Black Caps. Photo / Getty Images

Experienced seamer Ian Butler, nine years after his last test, is one selection meeting away from facing England in the first test at Dunedin tomorrow.

The Otago player, who was recalled for the T20 series against the tourists last month, is in the New Zealand squad as cover for the injured Doug Bracewell, who is battling a cut foot.

Butler, who has taken 24 wickets in his eight tests at 36 runs apiece - the most recent against Bangladesh in Dhaka in late 2004 - has been in prime form for Otago. He took 39 wickets at 25 in the Plunket Shield, third overall, and averaged a useful 30 with the bat.

He bowled impressively on his T20 return against England in Hamilton, taking two for nine. However, he was plundered in the deciding game of the series in Wellington. If chosen, Butler, 31, would have completed an unlikely, and remarkable return to the test game.

- NZ Herald

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