Injury concerns hit New Zealand ahead of West Indies series
New Zealand are sweating over the fitness of as many as three players ahead of their three-T20I and two-Test series against West Indies.
The Kiwis are already without bowler Matt Henry for the T20Is due to a broken thumb, and the likes of Colin de Grandhomme, Neil Wagner and Ajaz Patel have joined the 28-year-old on the nursing table. The team now await the scan results before delivering an official statement.
West Indies are set to become the first team to tour two different countries amidst the ongoing global pandemic after travelling to England earlier this year to resume the action of international cricket following a brief halt. They are set to three T20Is starting from November 27 followed by two Test matches from December 3 to 15.
As for New Zealand, fast bowler Neil Wagner recovering from a groin injury and the team is hopeful that he will return for the Plunket Shield - a domestic tournament - which begins on November 14. The scan results however will come on November 5. Grandhomme and Patel, on their part, are recovering from a foot and a calf injury respectively and the extent will only be known after the scans.
"Injuries are always a concern and we’re certainly monitoring each case closely with our medical staff," Blackcaps head coach Gary Stead said.
"Wagner and de Grandhomme both have niggles and we are awaiting scan results on their respective injuries to ascertain the next steps. Likewise, Ajaz Patel had a scan on his left calf after suffering a setback."
Furthermore, Tim Southee and Henry Nicholls are also nursing their respective injuries but the team expect them to return during the Plunket Shield.
West Indies cleared to train in New Zealand
The touring West Indies squad has been cleared to train in New Zealand after testing negative for the global virus. The team will be allowed to train in small groups, but New Zealand Cricket has said that the touring players will undergo two more tests on day six and day 12 before they can be released from their mandatory 14-day isolation.
Most of the players as well as people from the West Indies supporting staff arrived in New Zealand last Friday and have been isolating in Christchurch. The players who are playing in the ongoing Indian T20 League, on the other hand, are expected to join the team sometime next week. West Indies coach Phil Simmons said that it is likely that those six players would be in isolation until the morning of the first T20I in Auckland on November 27.
West Indies Test Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach
Test Reserves: Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua DaSilva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales
West Indies T20I Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / William West