New Zealand suffer major blow ahead of T20I series against Pakistan

The New Zealand cricket team. — AFP/File
The New Zealand cricket team. — AFP/File

In a major blow to New Zealand, two players have been ruled out of the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan which is set to begin from next week. 

New Zealand’s Finn Allen and Adam Milne have been removed from the squad for T20 series after they sustained injuries during the training.

Allen, the 24-year-old batter and occasional wicket-keeper, suffered a back injury while Milne, the 31-year-old fast bowler, suffered an injury to his ankle. 

However, the team has promptly replaced both injured players and included wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell and all-rounder Zack Fowlkes in the squad.

This is the first time Fowlkes has become part of the squad while Blundell has already visited Pakistan last year.

Coach Gary Stead said: “We feel for both Finn and Adam, suffering injuries so close to the start of the tour. They have been strong performers for us in the T20 format since the last World Cup.

“Tom is a highly experienced player and along with his wicketkeeping and batting skillsets is a leader in any group he is a part of. He also brings recent experience in the conditions, having taken part in both tours to Pakistan last year,” he said. 

“Zak has had an impressive season for Canterbury including being their leading wicket taker in all three competitions. He has displayed impressive skills with the ball, particularly in T20 cricket for the Kings.”

The New Zealand T20 squad is set to depart for Pakistan today and will arrive in Islamabad on the morning of April 14 and will kickoff the tournament on April 18 at the Pindi Stadium in Rawalpindi.

Nine top cricketers from New Zealand are already out of the squad due to their commitments to the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pakistan squad for T20 2024

Babar Azam (c), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Irfan Niazi, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan, Zaman Khan, Usama Mir.

New Zealand squad for T20 2024

Michael Bracewell (c), Tom Blundell, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Zack Fowlkes, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi.

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