Pakistan vs New Zealand: The visiting New Zealand team have suffered a vital blow as their premier wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell has been ruled out of the entire three-match ODI series against Pakistan due to a left-quad strain. New Zealand are scheduled to play 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is in Pakistan starting with the 50-over matches from 17 September.
Tom Blundell sustained the injury during the fourth T20I match against Bangladesh which needs a “concentrated period of rehabilitation” according to the team physio. In his absence, New Zealand have named all-rounder Daryl Mitchell as the replacement player. Incidentally, Mitchell was originally supposed to join the national team for the five-match T20I series against Pakistan, however, he will now instead be available from the second ODI after completing the mandatory isolation period.
“Tom’s been working hard since the injury in Bangladesh. The injury’s not quite where we want it so we think it’s best for him to concentrate on his rehab given the big summer of cricket ahead,” said Nishil Shah.
“Obviously everyone is gutted for Tom, he’s a quality player with a diverse skill-set. He’ll remain with the squad and we’re hopeful he’ll be available again for the T20I series. We’re fortunate to have someone of Daryl’s quality to join us early for the ODIs. He’s shown last summer what a destructive batsman he is, while also offering another useful bowling option,” he added.
The upcoming three-match ODI series between Pakistan and New Zealand will not be counted part of the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, due to the non-availability of the Decision Review System (DRS). Both the cricketing boards involved have mutually decided on this matter. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also issued a statement where they mentioned that as New Zealand are supposed to visit Pakistan again in 2022-23 season to play 2 Tests and 3 ODIs and thus, the two boards have decided to make up for the present ODI matches during that time.
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