New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has long sought a return to A team tours as a means of developing the country's next generation of talent.

The last tour in the genre came during November and December 2014 with limited overs matches against Ireland, Afghanistan and hosts the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier that year, a side of mainly emerging players completed a successful tour of Britain.

Perhaps it is coincidence but New Zealand, featuring the likes of Grant Elliott, Adam Milne and Matt Henry from those tours, reached a maiden World Cup final the following February.


Hesson's pleas will effectively be met in Ireland. He heads away this week to prepare his team for four one-day internationals - two each against Ireland and Bangladesh - ahead of June's Champions Trophy.

Seven of his 15-man roster are part of the Champions Trophy squad, but eight - Hamish Bennett, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Seth Rance, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner and George Worker - are on the limited overs periphery.

The tour is their chance to become regular selections before the 2019 World Cup in England or, if injury strikes, part of the June tournament.

Rance and Kuggeleijn are on the cusp of international selection after years of domestic form; test phenomenon Wagner hunts a limited overs debut; Bennett and Worker hope to return after injury-punctuated pasts; and Munro, Nicholls and Sodhi seek consistency in the ODI uniform.

A fascinating element is who fronts in the pace bowling ranks with six of the usual options - Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Henry, Mitchell McClenaghan, Milne and Tim Southee on Indian Premier League duty.

In addition, Wagner and Rance are playing in England.

"Scott and Hamish have continued to bowl post-season, so it's not like we're starting afresh," Hesson said after a camp in Mt Maunganui last week.

The coach would not be drawn as to who had the inside running on expected slow Irish wickets that might favour a two-pace, three-spin ODI attack.

"They all provide something different," he said. "For example, Seth becomes an option if it swings, and Scott's all-round talents might be considered."

If spin becomes a priority, Worker will resume an injury-disrupted international career that began and halted in Africa during August 2015.

In last season's Ford Trophy the all-rounder scored 659 runs at an average of 82.37 and strike rate of 91, coupled with 12 wickets at 27.25 and an economy rate of 5.78.

A team tours are likely to become a renewed priority with the extra money - likely to be around $24 million per annum from 2016-23 - negotiated from the latest round of International Cricket Council talks.

Hesson's in favour.

"In terms of being a necessity, we have lost a lot of players through injury and retirement since the World Cup. You can't just replace that experience through domestic cricket. It's important to have A tours on our programme every year.

"Creating depth is about providing opportunity. Ultimately, these types of tours should hold us in good shape heading to the next World Cup."

But would Hesson prefer most A team tours to be on the sub-continent, given New Zealand's desire to be more consistent against spin?

"Depending on the development stage of a player, they're all going to require plenty of experience there. Hopefully we can firm something up in the coming months. The next World Cup's in England, and over the next two years we haven't got much sub-continent cricket, but after that we do."