The Black Caps fast bowler Trent Boult has returned to the Northern Districts cricket team for the first of two matches at Mount Maunganui, following a short recovery from a thigh strain.
The in-form international, who took 20 wickets at an average of 15 during New Zealand's test series win over the West Indies, replaces Australian Chris Tremain who has returned to the Sydney Thunder.
The Knights face the Canterbury Wizards on January 2nd and the Wellington Firebirds on January 4th.
Northern presently sit atop the Twenty20 competition ladder with four wins and a slender loss from the first five matches.
Success in both matches would likely see them cement a spot in the finals, which are to be played in Hamilton on January the 17th and 18th.