Colin Munro, who was the top-ranked T20I batsman three years ago, was overlooked for New Zealand's upcoming subcontinent tour, which includes the T20 World Cup in the UAE. Earlier, Munro had made himself unavailable for the Bangladesh and Pakistan tour, preceding the marquee event.
The Black Caps, on Monday, August 9, announced their 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2021, beginning October 15 in the UAE. Experienced players like Ross Taylor, Colin De Grandhomme and Colin Munro were the most notable omissions.
Munro, who has scored 1724 T20I runs at 31.34 average with a strike-rate of 156.44, last played for New Zealand in February 2020, against India. His tally of three T20I hundreds is bettered only by Rohit Sharma (4) and the left-hander, alongside Martin Guptill forms New Zealand’s most successful opening pair yet, with 1,012 runs at 40.48.
The 34-year-old was understandably disappointed, and expressed his frustration through his social media account. He fears that he might’ve well played his last game for New Zealand.
"Extremely gutted to miss out on this, was definitely a goal of mine that I wanted to tick off," Munro posted on his Instagram Stories when the squad was named. "Looks like I have played my last game for [the Blackcaps] not by choice."
Earlier, Munro had made himself unavailable for the pre-World Cup series in Bangladesh and Pakistan. The emergence of Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert and Mark Chapman over the last few seasons might've pushed him further down in the pecking order. He is currently playing in The Hundred, where he is a part of the Manchester Originals’ outfit.
Meanwhile, Gary Stead, the New Zealand coach, has stated that Munro could still be in line to feature at the T20 World Cup should the situation arise.
“Colin's still available, but for the World Cup only. He wasn't available for any other tours, and we talked through that decision," Stead said, as reported by ESPNcricinfo. "In the end, we've had a lot of success with guys in our squad in the last six months. We know Colin is a fine player - and still is - but unfortunately, we would be taking the 15 selected plus Adam Milne.
"I'm pleased he's frustrated. When you have a lot of quality players around, you can't fit everyone into 15 players. It's a call we've had to make. I've spoken to Colin about a week ago and he's clear on where he sits."