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Cricket: Lashings or Lord's - Butler

Injury could bring our own cricketing Harlem Globetrotter into the first one-dayer.

England's Ian Bell (left) celebrates after dismissing New Zealand's Doug Bracewell.  Photo / AP
England's Ian Bell (left) celebrates after dismissing New Zealand's Doug Bracewell. Photo / AP

Ian Butler could play cricket in one of two destinations tomorrow.

One is Eversley Cricket Club in Hampshire with Lashings XI, the team he represents over the New Zealand winter. They are a type of cricketing Harlem Globetrotters who play festival matches across England. Butler shares the dressing room with the likes of Gordon Greenidge, Saqlain Mushtaq and John Emburey on any given day.

Alternatively he'll roll the arm over (or carry drinks) an hour away at Lord's, where New Zealand play their first one-day international of the three-match series against England.

A decision should be known this morning with Trent Boult getting a scan on the side strain he suffered at Headingley. Butler has been on standby for this tour if injury strikes.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum says Boult is unlikely to continue.

"He's not looking great. He is still not moving freely, which is a shame because he's been a revelation for us this season. When we play England with Alastair Cook opening it's going to be harder to get a dismissal."

Boult has dismissed the prolific Cook four times in five tests.

Meanwhile, Luke Ronchi will be flexing his wicketkeeping gloves for the coming ODIs.

McCullum says it's under discussion whether he or Ronchi will be behind the stumps. Concerns were raised about McCullum's fitness doing the job when he came off stiff filling in for BJ Watling in the second test.

"I wasn't as fluent as I would like," McCullum said of his Headingley performance. "I've always said I'd never have any regrets through my career and that doesn't change. That was what was required. I wasn't able to contribute with the bat as much as I would like either. However, the keeping didn't affect my batting. I'd love to say it was an excuse for why I didn't get runs but I can't. [McCullum averaged 7.75 despite topping the averages in the home series with 82.66.] "We need to work out what's comfortable for us and the team because Luke's going to play as an opener as well."

Ronchi kept in the warm-up match against a Northamptonshire XI.

Eight new players - Grant Elliott, James Franklin, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Ronchi and Daniel Vettori - come into the one-day squad so there's a spike in experience for the 50-over format.

McCullum welcomed the transition, especially into a side which won an ODI series in South Africa for the first time in January.

"We're a more confident one-day unit. We haven't played together for a while but guys are certain what their roles are."

He said that extended to spin bowling with the 10-over cap, despite the test team's struggles against Graeme Swann.

- NZ Herald

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