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World Cup 2019: Tom Latham in doubt for New Zealand’s opening game of the tournament

Blundell will make his ODI debut if Latham fails to recover.

Tom Latham
Tom Latham. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The World Cup is only 13 days away from getting underway and New Zealand have been hit with an injury blow to their wicketkeeper Tom Latham. The left-hander fractured his finger during the unofficial One-Dayers against Australia recently. He is now also in doubt to play New Zealand’s first game against Sri Lanka on June 1 to be played at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

If Latham fails to get fit in time for the team’s opener, Tom Blundell will make his ODI debut and take up the responsibility behind the wickets. Blundell, in that case, will become the first New Zealand player to make his ODI debut in a World Cup since 1987.  Tom Latham was immediately withdrawn after the injury and sent for a check-up. He visited a specialist after returning to Christchurch and underwent an X-ray only to be declared fit to travel with the World Cup squad.

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Having said that, the chief selector Gavin Larsen has informed that Tim Seifert and Test wicketkeeper BJ Watling are on standby at the moment.

We’ll take a day by day approach

Speaking on Tom Latham’s injury, Larsen went on to add that they will keep him under observation and the team management will take a final call. “Whether he [Latham] takes his place in those warm-up games we’ll take a day-by-day approach on that, which will be down to the medical guys and Gary [Stead] and support staff when they’re over there.

“They’re both ready; Tim has come off the back of his finger injury, that’s OK, and BJ has been going well. We’ve got the different skill sets covered,” he told Trackside Radio. As for Tom Blundell, he is ready to take up the challenge if the Kiwis need him for their first World Cup game. However, even before that, he will have to do the job in the warm-up games against India and Windies.

“It is pretty exciting but I’ve just got to wait and see. Hopefully, for Tom it’s not too bad and he has a speedy recovery. If called upon I’ll be ready. Those games last week against Aussie were a great experience and I’ll draw on that confidence if I do get a chance to play the first couple of games,” Blundell said while speaking to stuff-co.nz.

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