As a teenager, Wilson played international cricket and rugby for New Zealand before opting to concentrate solely on rugby.
Then in May 2002, at the age of 31, he retired from all levels of rugby to return to cricket, and within three years has earned international status again.
"It's going to take me a little while to get my head around the fact I'm back on this stage again, I thought those days were gone," said Wilson who brings a star quality to a series already brimming with modern cricket greats.
"I knew if I had a strong one-day (domestic) season I'd be in the back of their mind but I was probably more realistic about next season."
His inclusion was the only surprise in the Black Caps squad for the one-day series starting on January 22, which replaces the Sri Lanka tour postponed after the devastating tsunamis swept through the Indian Ocean last month.
New Zealand coach John Bracewell said the selectors had been watching Wilson closely and have no doubt he is a dynamic cricketer.
"His match-turning ability is undoubted and we just need to see if he can step up to this level again and also see if he can perform in a travel, play, travel environment."
He comes in for injured pace bowler Ian Butler who is to undergo rehabilitation for the bulging disc in his back, resting for two weeks before making a domestic return.
Wilson last played cricket for New Zealand against Australia in 1993, striking an unbeaten 44 off 28 balls to propel his team to a final-over victory at Hamilton.
Later that year, one day before his 20th birthday, Wilson made his rugby Test debut against Scotland in Edinburgh, scoring three tries.
He played 60 tests at wing and fullback for the All Blacks, scoring 44 tries which places him second on the all-time New Zealand test list, two behind Christian Cullen.
New Zealand squad:
Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Mathew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Hamish Marshall, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Jeff Wilson, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Daryl Tuffey.