WI vs NZ: Injured Matt Henry ruled out of ODI series, Ben Sears replaces him

Ben Sears has played six T20Is so far but is yet to play an ODI.

Matt Henry of New Zealand
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Matt Henry of New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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New Zealand have been dealt with a blow ahead of the ODI series against the West Indies. Their pace bowler Matt Henry has been ruled out of the series due to a rib injury. The Kiwis have called up Ben Sears as Henry’s replacement for the series. Sears was part of New Zealand’s recently concluded tour of Europe and has played a total of six T20Is so far having made his debut in September last year. Sears looks likely to make his ODI debut on the West Indies tour now.

Meanwhile, Henry sustained the injury during a practice session last week when he experienced pain in his left side. New Zealand head coach Gary Stead confirmed the news while also stating that Henry has returned home to start rehabilitation and will focus on returning for the Australia series in September.

“It’s a shame for Matt to have to return home at this point of the tour. Although the injury is not overly serious – we felt there was a significant risk it would become worse through playing. Matt is on his way home as we speak and will begin his rehabilitation immediately with an eye to being ready for the ODI series in Australia in early September,” Stead said according to Cricbuzz.

We believe Sears is ready, says Gary Stead

The three-match ODI series between West Indies and New Zealand is set to commence on August 17. Talking about Ben Sears, Gary Stead felt confident about the pace bowler being ready to play if called upon during the ODI series. After being called up to the squad, Sears will now first fly to Jamaica by Sunday (August 14) and then reach Barbados the next day ahead of the first ODI.

“With the upcoming ODI series starting on Wednesday and consisting of three games over five days, we saw it as prudent to bring in a fully fit replacement. Ben comes fresh from a successful tour with the BLACKCAPS in Europe and while he is yet to play ODI cricket – we believe he’s ready if called upon. At 24-years-old he’s an exciting young prospect and we like the pace and skills he possesses,” Stead added.