Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson. (Image: ANI)
New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry was ruled out of the ICC Cricket World Cup in India on Friday which is a huge blow to the Black Caps. Henry suffered a torn right hamstring during a match against South Africa in Pune, an injury that has been confirmed to be a grade two lower tear. As a result, he faces a recovery period of two to four weeks, making him unavailable for the remainder of the tournament. The New Zealand Cricket board announced Kyle Jamieson as the replacement for the pacer.
NZ Coach Gary Stead expressed deep sympathy for Henry’s situation, emphasising his crucial role in New Zealand’s One Day squad over the years. Henry had consistently been ranked within the top 10 ODI bowlers by the International Cricket Council (ICC), showcasing his exceptional talent and skill. Additionally, Stead praised Henry’s positive team spirit, stating that the team would miss his personality and wealth of experience.
To fill the void left by Henry, the New Zealand have called up Jamieson to the squad. Jamieson, a 28-year-old fast bowler, had previously undergone back surgery in February, making his journey back to the team a testament to his determination and resilience. He had been with the squad in India as a training cover earlier in the tournament, which facilitated his seamless integration into the team.
Jamieson arrived in Bengaluru late on Thursday and was set to train with the team on Friday, preparing for a potential appearance in the upcoming match against Pakistan.
Stead lauded Jamieson’s skills and physical attributes, noting his ability to be a significant threat with the ball. The coach also highlighted the added advantage of Jamieson’s prior training with the team during the initial weeks of the tournament. Jamieson’s return from two separate back injuries showcased his strong work ethic and determination to represent his country on the world stage.
The Black Caps currently hold the fourth position in the World Cup standings, and they have two crucial round-robin matches left in Bengaluru. They are scheduled to face Pakistan on Saturday and Sri Lanka the following Thursday. The team will be hoping that Kyle Jamieson can step up to the challenge and help fill the void left by Matt Henry’s absence as they aim for success in the tournament’s business end.