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The door is very much open: Gavin Larsen hopes Trent Boult plays in 2023 ODI World Cup

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) New Zealand chief selector Gavin Larsen is hopeful of left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult playing for the Blackcaps in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup in India to be held later this year.

Boult, 33, opted out of his New Zealand Cricket contract last year to pursue overseas opportunities. After turning out for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL), Boult is currently playing for MI Emirates in the ongoing ILT20 in the UAE.

Though Boult had expressed in the past about his ambition to play in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India, his participation in the global showpiece event has not yet been confirmed.

“The door is very much open. Gary (Stead, head coach) and Trent talk on a regular basis. We all know Boulty’s pedigree, his experience and just what a great match-winner he is and has been over the years for us,” said Larsen to the SENZ Mornings radio show.

Boult is considered one of the best bowlers to play for New Zealand in all formats of the game, with his ability to move the ball both ways and be one-half of the new-ball pair with right-arm pacer Tim Southee. In 99 ODIs, Boult has picked 187 wickets, averaging 23.97 at a strike rate of 4.93.

“We want him to be involved, we’d love him to be involved, we understand entirely his situation so we will keep working with him. We’ve got a World Cup at the end of the year and I’ve got my fingers crossed that if the stars align that we’ll have a certain Trent Boult opening the bowling for us,” added Larsen.

In the absence of Boult and Southee, an inexperienced New Zealand fast-bowling attack struggled in the recently-finished white-ball matches in India, losing the ODI series 3-0 and T20I series 2-1. New Zealand have finished runners-up in the 2015 and 2019 Men’s ODI World Cups and would be itching to go one step further in 2023.