In a recent development, New Zealand has been dealt a major blow after it was known all-rounder Daryl Mitchell has been ruled out of the T20 tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh in Christchurch after fracturing his pinkie finger during training at Lincoln on Friday.
Mitchell sustained the blow to his right hand while batting in the nets, while an X-ray later revealed a fracture to his fifth metacarpal (pinkie finger). The big question that looms now, is whether he will recover in time for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Daryl Mitchell’s injury comes at a crucial time for the Black Caps, reckons coach Gary Stead
Coach Gary Stead said opined it was too soon to state whether Daryl Mitchell would be fit enough to participate in the World Cup, with the squad set to depart for Australia on October 15.
“It’s a real shame for Daryl to suffer this injury on the eve of an exciting period of cricket for the side,” Stead said.
“With our first game of the World Cup in just over two weeks we need to take some to consider Daryl’s recovery timeline and his potential involvement in the tournament,” he added.
New Zealand physiotherapist Theo Kapakoulakis confirmed Mitchell’s hand had been placed in a cast which would need to remain on for at least two weeks. Mitchell’s replacement in the tri-series squad has yet to be revealed.
New Zealand fixtures in the tri-nation series
The Kiwis open their tri-series campaign against Pakistan at Hagley Oval on Saturday night. Bangladesh and Pakistan were to open the series at 3pm at the same venue on Friday.
The T20 tri-series will be the last preparatory campaign for all three teams with the T20 World Cup in Australia just around the corner. New Zealand’s opening match is a blockbuster against old rivals Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on October 22.
The Black Caps have night matches (7pm starts) against Pakistan (Saturday) and Bangladesh (Sunday) to start this weekend where temperatures will plummet, especially for the second innings.